Md. bill would direct state money to Planned Parenthood if Congress cuts funding

Leading Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly want to increase funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in the state if Congress cuts federal funds for the reproductive health-care services the organization provides.

Lawmakers have sponsored a bill that would allocate $2.7 million to help pay for health-care services that officials say nearly 25,000 women in Maryland could lose under a proposal introduced in Congress this week.

“This is about protecting the citizens of Maryland, keeping them in good health,” lead sponsor Del. Shane E. Pendergrass (D-Howard) said Wednesday, surrounded by a host of female lawmakers dressed in red for International Women’s Day. “We will not let the federal government mess up the state of Maryland.”

The legislation is the latest attempt by Maryland Democrats to counteract actions by President Trump and Republicans in Congress that Democrats consider “harmful” to state residents. Last month, the General Assembly passed a resolution to allow the state attorney general to sue the federal governmentwithout first having to get permission from the governor.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) also has proposed a bill to address the possible federal defunding of Planned Parenthood; and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has pledged to provide state funding to cover money Planned Parenthood could lose in his state.

learn more

Chris Alexakis