FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2022
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

The Maryland Legislature overrides Governor’s veto to pass the Abortion Care Access Act;
New York State includes provisions in state budget to expand access to care

NEW YORK – While more states are moving to ban abortion ahead of the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) applauds Maryland and New York for taking action to protect and expand access to abortion in recent days.

“At this critical moment for the future of abortion access, we need to fight in every state we can to establish meaningful and equitable access to abortion care,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “We are grateful for the elected leaders in Maryland and New York who understand the dire need to take action.”

On Saturday, the Maryland legislature not only passed the Abortion Care Access Act, but ensured final passage by overriding Governor Hogan’s veto of the bill. The Abortion Care Access Act will increase the number of qualified health care providers who can offer abortion care and will provide $3.5 million in financial support to clinically train health care professionals to offer reproductive services. The bill will also make the state’s existing abortion care coverage under Medicaid permanent and require private health insurance plans — with exceptions for those with religious or legal exemption — to cover abortion care without cost-sharing or deductibles.

The Maryland legislature also overrode Governor Hogan’s veto of a paid family leave bill that will offer Marylanders 12 weeks of partially paid leave each year to care for themselves or a close family member after a serious health issue, and up to 24 weeks of paid leave for new parents who also experience serious health issues.

The New York state budget, released late last week, includes two important steps for ensuring greater access to abortion care: 1) private insurance in New York is now required to cover all abortions at no cost to patients; and 2) eligible New Yorkers will now have 12 months of Medicaid coverage after a pregnancy ends, regardless of citizenship status, a key step in reducing maternal mortality. NIRH is grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Cousins, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, State Senator Samra Brouk, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, and New York Senator Gustavo Rivera for their partnership.

“State legislators and Governors across the country should take note that there is always more that can be done to expand access to abortion,” Miller said. “And NIRH is here to help elected officials at every level of government to use their levers of power to protect and expand access to care.”

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. For more than 40 years, NIRH has been partnering with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change. NIRH’s strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.