On Sunday night, Politico reported that the Supreme Court would be voting to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. On Wednesday, Council Vice President Evan Glass sent the following letter to County Marc Elrich requesting expanded access to abortions to Montgomery County residents.
“County Executive Marc Elrich:
The devastating draft opinion from the Supreme Court reversing Roe v. Wade has sent shockwaves nationwide. Concerned residents of Maryland and Montgomery County should know that we remain committed to ensuring access to safe and legal abortions.
With the recently passed Abortion Care Access Act, the state legislature safeguarded and expanded access to reproductive healthcare. This new law, which goes into effect July 1, increases access to abortion through Medicaid and private insurance, and expands the network of providers who are authorized to perform these procedures.
Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, rolling back safe and legal abortions, this would most impact Black, Latina and low-income individuals. We must follow Maryland’s lead to expand safe and legal abortions. While some women will be covered by Medicaid, we know that out of pocket costs can be a barrier for low-income individuals.
Gaps also exist for those who are not Medicaid eligible and cannot afford this healthcare service.
During discussions on the FY23 budget in the Health and Human Services Committee, I proposed that we add funding to provide expanded access to safe and legal abortions. While my colleagues suggested that we revisit this after an official ruling from the Supreme Court, I ask that the Department of Health and Human Services begin to plan for the potentially catastrophic situation. Women have the right to make decisions that impact their health and their bodies. And our role as government – at all levels – is to support these decisions.