The likely imminent reversal of Roe v. Wade deeply wounds any chances that the Republicans have of holding the governor’s mansion this November in strongly pro-choice Maryland.
Former Delegate and Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schultz, is running as a Hogan Republican and is seen as the more viable of the two major Republican candidates. She issued a statement designed to counter fears over abortion rights.
Thirty years ago, Marylanders voted to make abortion legal in Maryland, and any decision forthcoming on Roe v. Wade will not change that. The continued politicization of the Supreme Court is shameful and those fearmongering over Maryland abortion rights are only adding to that. While Kelly Schulz is personally pro-life, as governor, nothing will change with respect to current Maryland law on the issue.
Democrats are ready to pounce. The Democratic Governors Association has already pointed out that she sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban abortion with no exceptions and that she has previously touted her “100% solid” pro-life record.
Maryland’s governor remains the most powerful in the nation. Would Schulz use these extensive powers in ways that curtail abortion access, particularly for poor women? Is her statement conditional on the election of enough numbers of Democrats to the General Assembly to override gubernatorial vetoes, as is currently the case?
Schulz’s major opponent, far-right loony Del. Dan Cox who embraces Trump’s election conspiracy theories, has also voted against abortion rights bills in the General Assembly.
The General Assembly passed great legislation sponsored by Sen. Rich Madaleno and Del. Shane Pendergrass designed to ensure that Planned Parenthood stays funded, regardless of the federal budget, so that all Marylanders have will retain access to their vital family planning and health services:
“Today we made sure that no matter what happens in Washington, Maryland will ensure that all women have access to health services — especially those who have historically faced barriers to quality health care — women with low incomes, on Medicaid or living without health insurance, people of color, those living in rural areas, and LGBTQ people,” said Madaleno.
“This is a great day to be a Marylander and Planned Parenthood is grateful to the General Assembly for its leadership,” said Karen J. Nelson, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
The bill now heads to Larry Hogan’s desk. Will he allow it to become law without his signature–I doubt that he will sign it–or will he force a veto override? This gives the Governor a great opportunity to keep his promise during the 2014 campaign that he won’t work to restrict access to abortion or birth control.
But the Governor has said he remains personally opposed to abortion. Opposition to Planned Parenthood, long the object of Republican ire, has become a totem for Republicans in the wake of bogus accusations that Planned Parenthood profited off of the sale of fetal tissue. At the national level, the issue helped cement Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s reputation as a complete jackass:
Once again, Trump’s victory has brought the national home to Maryland. Whether or not Hogan has the votes to uphold a veto, his decision will speak volumes about his views on Planned Parenthood. Will Hogan stand with Trump and extreme congressional Republicans? Or will he keep his promise to preserve access to abortion and birth control in Maryland by protecting Planned Parenthood?