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States Push To Protect Birth Control Despite GOP Bill’s Failure

March 28th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Even with the Republican failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law, Democratic lawmakers in some states are pressing ahead with efforts to protect birth control access, Planned Parenthood funding and abortion coverage in case they are jeopardized in the future. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives withdrew a bill last week that would have repealed Obama's Affordable Care Act. It would have halted federal funding for Planned Parenthood and curtailed the ability of many low-income women to obtain affordable birth control.

Despite that setback for the GOP, several Republicans said Congress might revisit health care in the future, and anti-abortion leaders have stressed they will not abandon their campaign to defund Planned Parenthood. The group is the No. 1 abortion provider in the U.S. but also offers extensive birth control and health-screening services.

 

Majority Democrats in the Maryland Legislature, with backing from some Republicans, passed a bill that would maintain family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood if the group ever lost federal funding.

The state Senate approved the bill Tuesday on a 32-15 vote, after it previously cleared the House of Delegates. It now goes to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, whose office did not immediately respond to an inquiry asking whether he intended to sign or veto the bill.

It would direct $2 million from Maryland's Medicaid budget and $700,000 from the state's general fund to family planning services. The bill's chief sponsor, state Delegate Shane Pendergrass, said Maryland would be unwise to assume that congressional Republicans were finished with efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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