Planned Parenthood will continue operate as usual no matter what Congress decides to do — at least in the state of Maryland.
On Thursday, Maryland became the first state to enact a law that will reimburse state Planned Parenthood clinics should the federal government cut the organization’s funding, as it has threatened to do.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan allowed the bill, which already had enough signatures to overcome a veto, to become law without signing it, according to the Associated Press.
“As Marylanders, we must remember that a state solution does not change the fact that politicians in Congress are trying to prohibit millions of people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood,” Karen J. Nelson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, said in a statement Thursday. “It’s incumbent on all of us to keep up the fight for women.”
While it’s unclear yet if the federal government will actually slash Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, it’s certainly an option, and a popular one under Trump’s administration. The American Health Care Bill — President Donald Trump’s failed attempt to repeal and reform Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — included measures to defund the women’s health group.
And while Planned Parenthood is controversial due to its abortion services, it doesn’t actually use federal funds for them. That money is earmarked for services like cancer screenings, family planning, STI testing and treatments.
The Maryland law will take effect July 1 and allocates almost $3 million, mostly from the state’s Medicaid budget, to Planned Parenthood’s family planning services. Maryland has seven Planned Parenthood clinics, according to the Planned Parenthood of Maryland website.
Governor Hogan also allowed 14 other Maryland measures to become law without his signature this week, including one that provides state funds to the attorney general’s office for suing the Trump administration over issues related to the environment, healthcare, and immigration.