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Maryland Becomes First State to Guarantee Planned Parenthood Funding

Activists hold signs as they rally in support of Planned Parenthood on "National Pink Out Day" on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles, California September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Last month, Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote that repealed the Family Planning Funding Rule, which seriously cut funding that was needed by Planned Parenthood for them to be able to function. This angered feminists and users of Planned Parenthood everywhere, and for good reason. Planned Parenthood provides about 2.5 million people around the USA with healthcare, a plethora of STI and STD tests, and cancer screenings. This decision that The Senate made was a huge hindrance to the millions of people that depend on the services that Planned Parenthood offers.

However, a small glimpse of hope has just emerged from the state of Maryland. If support is taken away from Planned Parenthood, funding will still be guaranteed. Even though the governor did not support the bill, Maryland’s general assembly gained enough votes to pass it.

If the government does decide to completely cut Planned Parenthood funding, here’s how Maryland would take action:

  • $2 million from Maryland’s Medicaid budget would be transferred towards Planned Parenthood
  • $700,00 of the general fund of the state would be put towards family-planning services

These funds would not go towards Planned Parenthood’s abortion services. This act from Maryland’s government is merely an attempt to provide basic healthcare services to Planned Parenthood users, such as access to birth control and STD testings.

In spite of our Republican-led federal government, several Democratic lawmakers are trying their best to prevent any further cuts to Planned Parenthood’s funding. This small victory in Maryland shows that despite government oppressors, fighting for women’s rights can and does result in victories.

This shining light of hope in Maryland does not take away from the fact that Congress wants to prohibit all utilization of Planned Parenthood all over the world. While the fact that it will continue to be funded in a specific part of America is fantastic, the war is far from over. We as Americans, feminists and people NEED to continue fighting for Planned Parenthood and the services it provides so many of us.

Find out how to stand with Planned Parenthood here.

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Yasmin Ettobi
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16 | seattle | overly enthusiastic about music, movies and dogs

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