Montgomery Co. executive pledges $1M for abortion, reproductive care providers

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced Tuesday that he will commit $1 million for nonprofits and organizations that provide reproductive services, including abortion.

Speaking at a news conference hosted by County Council Member Nancy Navarro and her colleagues, Elrich said the money would go toward more than just abortion services. It would also “support organizations focused on comprehensive family planning, reproductive health and maternal health.”

Elrich stressed the funds would also go toward nonprofits that provide “wraparound services” to families.

Earlier Tuesday, Navarro moved a resolution that urged the Supreme Court to “maintain the fundamental rights provided under Roe v. Wade” and that urged Congress “to enact a law to make abortions legal across the nation.”

The vote in favor of the resolution by the nine-member council was unanimous. Navarro is the only woman on the council. All nine members are Democrats.

The council is expected to vote on the proposed reproductive-health funding in a few weeks.

Navarro referred to the leaked draft Supreme Court decision when she told reporters at the news conference: “I think what you are seeing here today is an extraordinary coalition that is not going to be silent, and it’s not going to sit back. We are going to fight like hell.”

Among the speakers at the news conference was Maryland state Del. Ariana Kelly, who led the effort to pass a bill to expand abortion services by allowing clinicians — not just doctors — to perform abortions.

The bill was vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan, and subsequently overridden by the General Assembly. The law also requires insurers to cover the procedure. Exceptions would be made if insurance companies could cite a religious or legal exemption.

Kelly said the law also provided $3.5 million for training clinicians, but that money remains inaccessible because Hogan, a Republican, said he would not release the funds, something that is within the governor’s power.

When Hogan vetoed the legislation on abortion access, he explained his concern saying the legislation would “set back standards for women’s health care and safety.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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