Law widens availability of abortion services in Maryland

A new Maryland law will allow more health practitioners to provide abortion services.

HB 937, which went into effect Friday, allows nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives to provide abortions, including a prescription for the abortion pill.

But some are expressing concerns, including Deborah Brocato, a retired nurse and chair of a group called Campaign to Protect Women. Her group contends the new Maryland law hurts women.

“I cannot replace a physician,” Brocato said. “Having a physician do a surgical abortion or prescribe the abortion pill provides a higher level of safety.”

In a statement, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington’s co-director of clinical services, Anne Cavett, said studies show that advanced practice clinicians — such as nurse practitioners — can provide services as safely and effectively as physicians, and she called Brocato‘s comment “blatantly and factually wrong.”

“It is a smokescreen meant to confuse and frighten patients seeking care,” Cavett said.

Brocato’s organization attempted to bring the bill to a referendum, which would have allowed Maryland residents to decide whether to veto the bill, despite its passage. But they fell short of getting enough signatures.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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