The Abortion Care Access Act goes into law today. Here’s why it’s good for abortion access.
Today in Maryland, abortion care access will expand. Previous Maryland law mandated that only physicians could perform abortions. Now, more healthcare providers will be able to do so, thanks to the Abortion Care Access Act. The act makes it legal for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians assistants to perform abortions in Maryland. In addition, the law provides $3.5 million dollars annually to train providers to perform abortions.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, many abortion clinics in abortion-hostile states have closed abruptly, leaving patients with no option other than to seek care in states where abortion is accessible –states like ours. Because of this, abortion patients from out-of-state are expected to travel to Maryland seeking abortion care, which means abortion providers will see an increase of patients in the coming months.
The more abortion providers there are, the easier it is to get abortion care, and the more folks there are to perform abortions–which takes pressure off of current providers and also allows for more providers so that folks can access abortion care in a timely manner. With the law’s $3.5 million dollars in funding for training new abortion providers, and the expansion of healthcare providers who can provider abortion care, Maryland is more equipped to make abortion accessible to folks in our state and beyond.
Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures–safer than getting your wisdom teeth out. In states like Oregon and Delaware, legislators have already passed law that allows non-physician healthcare practitioners to perform abortions. Organizations like the WHO, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association all support the ability of practitioners like NPs, midwives, and physicians assistants to perform abortions. Nurse-midwives are also often trained in manual vacuum extractions, and inserting IUDs, which share similarities with D&C (Dilation and Curettage) abortion procedures.
At Pro-Choice Maryland, we supported and helped advocate for this bill to become law. We’re proud to see that Maryland is taking action to expand abortion access for pregnant folks. The Abortion Care Access Act is an historic win for abortion access and a great first step in expanding abortion care to folks who need it.
NPR, “Landmark Report Concludes Abortion in US is safe.” Access it here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/16/593447727/landmark-report-concludes-abortion-is-safe
NBC Washington, “New Maryland Abortion Care Access Law Goes into Effect.” Access it here: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/new-maryland-abortion-care-access-law-goes-into-effect-friday/3087102/
Marketplace, “More health care workers will be able to provide abortions under a new Maryland law.” Access it here: https://www.marketplace.org/2022/06/29/more-health-care-workers-provide-abortions-under-new-maryland-law/
Politico, “Blue states expand who can provide abortions as they brace for a flood of patients.” Access it here: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/17/states-expand-abortions-flood-of-patients-00032815