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You likely know that the US Supreme Court made the decision to strike down longstanding abortion protections afforded by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This does not change Maryland laws. In fact, the state recently expanded abortion services by passing the Abortion Care Access Act, which allows some health providers besides physicians — such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants — to provide abortion services. The law took effect July 1, expanding insurance coverage for abortion procedures and directing $3.5 million as a mandated annual expense beginning in 2023. Also effective since 2019, the state prohibits abortions after the fetus is viable, unless pregnancy threatens the life or health of the women or there is fetal abnormality. In addition, parents of minors who are seeking a termination must be notified before any procedure can be performed. Exceptions are made in certain situations, such as where a notification would put the health or wellbeing of the minor in danger.
The Maryland Academy of Family Physicians has established positions that we oppose any legislation or regulation that criminalizes the practice of medicine and any encroachment on the physician-patient relationship. Therefore we’ll continue to monitor this at the state level and will engage members if needed. We’ll also continue to work with our lobbyist to monitor our state elections coming up later this year and keep you informed.
For reference since this is a federal issue, AAFP made a statement about the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson case. The AAFP has several policies already in place on this issue that influenced their statement:
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