Maryland Lawmakers Override Republican Governor, Expand Abortion Access

Maryland lawmakers have expanded the access to abortion, allowing trained medical professionals other than doctors to perform medical abortions amid the decision of the state’s governor to veto the bill.

Under House Bill 937, known as the Abortion Care Access Act, midwives, senior nurses, and trained doctor’s assistants will be allowed to perform abortion. The bill also directs the state to provide $3.5 million a year for abortion-care training.

The Abortion Care Clinical Training Program established by the bill aims to increase the number of health care professionals with abortion-care training. It also seeks to increase racial and ethnic diversity among health care professionals with abortion-care training, the bill says.

Maryland Governor Lawrence Hogan said that the bill will endanger the health and lives of women if non-physicians will be allowed to conduct abortion procedures. 

Hogan said that abortion procedures are complex. They require attention of licensed physicians “with a level of education and training not received by other types of healthcare professionals,” the governor added.

Maryland House members reversed the governor’s decision through a 90-46 vote on Saturday, in favor of the bill. The senate voted 29-15.

House Bill 937, which has now become a law, will take effect on July 1.

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