February 23, 2024
Investment

Maryland Improves Access To Abortion Care With $15.6M Investment


Maryland Improves Access To Abortion Care With $15.6M Investment

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Wes Moore today announced two major investments to improve access to abortion care statewide. In addition to the Moore-Miller Administration’s FY 2025 $5 million allocation to increase Medicaid provider reimbursement for abortion care and reproductive services, the Maryland Department of Health has awarded a $10.6 million grant to the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to administer Maryland’s Abortion Care Clinical Training Program. 

“Access to reproductive health care is a fundamental right,” said Gov. Moore. “Today, we take another big step forward to protect the health, well-being, and rights of Marylanders – and we will keep working together to ensure that Maryland remains a safe haven for reproductive care.”

The Moore-Miller Administration’s $5 million investment will support the Maryland Medicaid Family Planning and Reproductive Health Program through grants distributed to family planning service providers. Grant opportunities will be extended to abortion clinic providers statewide, promoting best practices for patient access and strengthening infrastructure needs including information technology and staffing within abortion clinics. The Maryland Department of Health conducted a thorough review of Medicaid abortion rates across the country to inform increased medical and procedural abortion rates for Maryland clinics. 

“This funding represents a major step toward fortifying reproductive rights with abortion training and education,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. “These comprehensive training programs, along with Governor Moore’s additional funding to support Medicaid providers, will help keep abortion care in Maryland safe and accessible for generations.”

The University of Maryland, Baltimore, will utilize its grant to expand the number of healthcare professionals with abortion care training, increase racial and ethnic diversity among health care professionals with abortion care education, and support the identification of clinical sites to offer training. Program funds will be distributed to participating organizations including Planned Parenthood of Maryland to operate a community-based clinical site and the National Abortion Federation to support the University of Maryland, Baltimore in developing the statewide training system.

“Our training will target a major public health problem of abortion care training and abortion care access in our state,” said Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Jessica Lee, MD, who is also co-principal investigator on the training program. “We will specifically address training clinicians in underserved areas and rural areas in Maryland to help reverse health inequities and to provide reproductive health care services to those in need.”

In 2020, more than 60% of Maryland counties had no community-based clinics that provided abortion care. Expanding the pool of clinicians who provide abortion care—particularly in communities where abortions are more difficult to access and for patient populations who experience discrimination within the health care system—is critical to improving equitable access to care across the state.

“I can’t say enough how proud we are here at Planned Parenthood of Maryland for the finalization of the first-of-its-kind Abortion Care Access Act and the expansion of the vital health care it promises,” said Planned Parenthood of Maryland President and Chief Executive Officer Karen J. Nelson. “We know that just because the legal right to abortion exists, does not mean that patients can always access care. The Abortion Care Access Act and the creation of the Maryland Abortion Care Clinical Training Program are stepping stones to ensuring that no matter what zip code a patient has, they can access the care they deserve. There is no chance for health care equity without access.”

“We are thrilled about the launch of Maryland’s Abortion Care Clinical Training Program and extremely proud to represent our members in the project’s implementation,” said National Abortion Federation Chief Program Officer Melissa Fowler. “In this post-Roe landscape, it is more critical than ever that we ensure that Maryland remains a haven for abortion access by making sure that there are enough health professionals trained to provide abortion care. We hope this program will also set an example for other states to follow and ensure that providers throughout the country have the necessary skills, training, and support they need.”

Funding for the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program was established in 2022 by the Abortion Care Access Act, which helps ensure access to high-quality, safe abortion care in Maryland by providing a grant for clinical training of abortion care providers and their clinical care teams​.



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