Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is under attack, but one state has pledged that business will continue as usual — even if President Trump and a Republican-led Congress are successful in their attempts to defund the organization.
On Thursday, April 6, Maryland became the first state to pass legislation that will reimburse clinics regardless of potential federal government cuts.
The state’s Republican governor Larry Hogan didn’t contest the bill, which already had enough signatures to overcome a veto.
“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 released on Thursday. “It’s incumbent on all of us to keep up the fight for women.”
The future of federal funding for Planned Parenthood remains unclear, but Republicans will continue their efforts to defund the organization. The failure of The American Health Care Bill (Trump’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, which included measures to defund Planned Parenthood) was certainly a victory for Democrats. But it merely bought Planned Parenthood and its advocates more time — House Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues have made clear they’ll continue the fight to federally defund the women’s health care organization.
The primary reason Planned Parenthood is so controversial is because the organization provides abortion services — but, contrary to what many people believe, federal funds are not used for the procedure. Rather, government funding goes towards basic health care such as cancer screenings, family planning, and STI testing and treatments.
Maryland’s new law, which will go into effect on July 1, allocates nearly $3 million (primarily from the state’s Medicaid budget) to Planned Parenthood’s family planning services.