Per Montgomery County:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced today that the County will provide $1 million to community-based organizations providing direct services that support the right to access abortion care in the County. Elrich was joined by Executive Director of the Commission for Women Jodi Finkelstein, Maryland Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, Maryland Delegate Sara Love, Director of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Raymond Crowel, and reproductive health rights advocate and community activist Roz Jonas.
Resolution 19-1357 provides grant awards from $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000 for an up to one year (12 month) performance period for the County’s FY 2023 Abortion, Reproductive Health, and Related Services Access (ARHRSA) grants program. The target population for the grants are organizations that help women seeking access to abortion, reproductive health, and related services as well as the staff providing these services.
“As soon as the draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May, we knew that our reproductive rights and abortion providers were going to need additional support and we announced our intention to provide $1 million in County aid through grants to these organizations,” said County Executive Erich. “I am very pleased that we were able to get this grant process up and running so quickly and appreciate the work and input of the County Council, the Department of Health and Human Services and our new Office of Grants Management. These funds will help the women served by caring and compassionate organizations who are protecting their rights, their health, and their choices.”
The grants will be administered by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Grants Management. The grants will be provided to programs that provide direct services and/or support that address at least two of the following funding areas:
- Assisting with wraparound services to those who are accessing abortion services;
- Providing grants to organizations in the County that provide abortion services, or that refer patients to abortion services as part of comprehensive family planning and reproductive health education;
- Providing aid to organizations that are fighting legal battles on behalf of those seeking access to abortion services;
- Security for providers who offer direct abortion services or referral to abortion services. Providers may require increased safety or security measures as a result of heightened tensions in the political and civic environment;
- Support for organizations and providers who offer direct abortion services or refer to abortion services to begin practicing in Montgomery County. Examples include assistance with relocation costs, training costs for new providers, or other startup costs; and
- Grants to facilitate providers of abortion services to offer reduced cost, low cost, or no cost abortion services to women who have financial hardships, to ensure equitable access to abortion services.
“As reproductive rights are being systematically dismantled at the Federal level and in states across the nation we in Montgomery County are standing firm in our commitment to protect the rights of women and pregnant people to make their own healthcare decisions,” said County Councilmember Andrew Friedson. “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare does not stop abortions from happening, but instead makes them unsafe, especially for women of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
“This new source of funding is further proof that Maryland and Montgomery County continue to be leaders in protecting abortion access. The grants announced today will support health agencies that provide comprehensive reproductive health care to those in need, as well as those organizations fighting legal battles on behalf of abortion-seeking patients. This announcement is a welcome follow-up to my legislation, the Abortion Care Access Act, which solves the critical shortage of abortion providers in the state, invests in clinical training opportunities for reproductive healthcare providers, and makes access to care more affordable through insurance providers and Medicaid,” said Maryland Delegate Ariana Kelly. “I am so proud to work alongside County Executive Elrich, the Montgomery County Council and others in our community to ensure that Marylanders will have adequate access to care regardless of what happens on the national level.”
Grant applicants should directly address the priority areas in their proposal. Service providers do not need a nonprofit designation to apply but all services must take place within Montgomery County. Organizations can apply independently or in collaboration with other groups. County funding cannot be used to supplant other funding for already planned services. Applications are due by 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct.10.
A virtual information session will be held on Friday, Sept. 9 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The event will be recorded and publicly posted for individuals who missed the event or wish to review the information. Full program details, the online application, and information session details (as well as recording) are available on the Office of Grants Management website.
Grant applications will be reviewed by an independent committee organized by the Office of Grants Management made up of neutral, qualified individuals from Montgomery County Government selected for their experience in the grant program’s subject area, grants administration, or project management. Panel members will review and score applicant proposals on a 100-point scale based on the criteria and priorities established in County Resolution 19-1357 with cumulative ranking determining the final awards.
Email Rafael Pumarejo Murphy, director of the Office of Grants Management at Rafael.firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the application process or call 240-777-2775.