Constitutional Right To Abortion Enacted By Democratic Governor Over MAGA Objections

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UPDATE: Implementing the constitutional measure that Moore apparently signed is actually dependent on Maryland voters in the next elections, when the measure amending Maryland’s Constitution will go to a vote. Read the original article below:

In Maryland, Democratic Governor Wes Moore, who is in his first term after winning in last year’s midterm elections against a Republican challenger endorsed by Donald Trump, has signed a slew of new protections for both reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care obtained in the state.

Included in the list of new measures are restrictions on compliance in Maryland with potential investigations or cases in some other jurisdiction relating to health services obtained in the state. That means that if Republican prosecutors or officials want to target somebody from their jurisdiction for obtaining something like an abortion in Maryland, the latter state’s authorities won’t be helping.

These broad refusals to comply with potential out-of-state probes from Republicans have been a relatively consistent feature of Democratic efforts to protect abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Replacing the legal allowances for abortion previously available under that ruling, Moore also enacted a specific extension of state constitutional rights to cover reproductive freedom. Like under Roe, these provisions aren’t going to mean, no matter any Republican claims to the contrary, that any pregnancy can be aborted in any context at any point, but the bill generally “establishes that every person, as a central component of an individual’s rights to liberty and equality, has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” per the governor’s office.

The newly signed protections from Moore and other Democratic leaders in Maryland establish providing gender-affirming care as the norm. In other states, providing such care specifically in cases involving gender dysphoria has been a target for restrictions, and while not everyone who is transgender experiences gender dysphoria, styling the limits on gender-affirming care in such a way means it remains broadly available to those who aren’t transgender, raising questions of compliance with the basic legal standards for equal protection demanded by the Constitution.

Moore’s new bill “requires the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment in a nondiscriminatory manner, requiring that the gender-affirming treatment be assessed according to nondiscriminatory criteria that are consistent with current clinical standards,” per the governor’s team. Read more at this link.