BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The City of Baltimore will provide $300,000 in grants to organizations that offer abortion and family planning services, according to city officials.
Mayor Brandon Scott announced the funding award just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. He also said he was appalled by the court's decision.
Maryland is not expected to change its pro-abortion legislation, so Baltimore is preparing to expand its service capacity to meet the needs of city residents and accommodate people from states with anti-abortion laws who want to terminate a pregnancy, officials said.
"A woman's decision about what to do with her own body is a fundamental human right," Scott said. "It is crucial that we invest in abortion and family planning so that we can welcome women seeking these services with open arms. We are morally obligated to make Baltimore a safe haven for care-seekers, and we are committed to doing just that."
The 15-member Baltimore City Council passed a resolution to designate the city as an Abortion Rights Protection Jurisdiction earlier this month.
Its four female members spoke out about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the landmark decision on Friday afternoon.
"As a Black woman and public health expert, I cannot stress enough how important it is to fund abortion service," Councilwoman Phylicia Porter (D-10) said. "Lack of access to safe abortions leads to significant increases in pregnancy related deaths. It is our responsibility as elected leaders to protect the health of our residents and eliminate barriers to care."
Council Vice-President Sharon Green Middleton (D-6) said that supporting local abortion service providers was the right thing to do.
Councilwoman Danielle McCray (D-2) noted that the Supreme Court decision was "absolutely shameful and especially detrimental to Black women."
"This Supreme Court decision is nothing short of a disaster for women across the Country, and puts women's rights back decades," Councilwoman Odette Ramos (D-14) said. "Shame on them. In Baltimore, we're taking action to ensure that women have the right to safe abortion care. I'm proud of our city and state, and will fight for the rights of our sisters across the country—again."
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