The Maryland House of Delegates voted to increase the number of poor teenage women who qualify for state-funded abortions yesterday. The new law will offer health and insurance benefits to 60,000 more children and pregnant women whose earnings are moderate, but not low enough to qualify for Medicaid.
Although federal law prohibits the use of government dollars for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or to protect the mother’s life, Maryland law allows state-funded abortions to protect the mental health of the mother and in cases of possible genetic defects of the fetus. State officials estimate that the new law will provide state-funded abortions for 60 additional teenage women a year.
Betsy Cavendish, legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said “By and large Maryland is one of the leading states in beating back anti-choice legislation.”
This year, the Maryland Senate voted against a ban on D&X abortions, citing interpretations of such a law that might prohibit all abortions. The Virginia General Assembly and 22 other states have passed D&X bans.
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