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Where Maryland's abortion laws stand one year after Roe vs. Wade was overturned

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CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- June 24 marks one year since the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

The decision, which prompted strong reactions across the country and more conversations surrounding abortion rights, ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.   

While Maryland's abortion laws were not directly impacted by the ruling, demonstrations were held across the state in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision. 

When the draft ruling was released in May of last year, activists in Baltimore had responded with protests outside the federal courthouse.  Many locals, including Lynn McCann, co-director of the Baltimore Abortion Fund, felt that the ruling was an attack on a woman's right to choose what they want to do with their body. "It's fundamentally cruel, wrong, and unjust to force people to be pregnant against their will," McCann said.

Many state leaders spoke out when the official decision from the Supreme Court was released in June.  In a statement, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) said the fight for abortion access will continue at the state level.  

"Today is a distressing day for Americans, especially women, as we witness the willful degradation of a long-held right to reproductive freedom and further erosion of trust in our country's highest Court," Ferguson said.

But sentiments about the decision were not the same across the board.

Archbishop William Lori, leader of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, was thankful for the decision, saying it was "good news for the cause of life."  In a joint statement with Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the two Catholic leaders expressed their views on a post-Roe vs. Wade America. 

"It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love," the statement read.

With Roe vs. Wade overturned, the control over abortion regulation is returned to individual states.  

Governor Wes Moore has been adamant about his intent to support abortion and reproductive rights during his time in office.  In January of this year, Moore announced the release of $69 million previously-withheld state funding.  Included in that funding was $3.5 million for abortion care access.   

In February, Moore announced a reproductive rights legislative package of measures protecting abortion rights, including a state constitutional amendment.

In March, Moore along with 15 other Democratic governors, asked several leading pharmacy retailers to clarify their plans to dispense mifepristone, a pill used in medication abortions.  Mifepristone made local headlines when Moore released a statement opposing a Texas Judge's decision to halt the drug's FDA approval. 

One year after the Supreme Court's historic decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the social, and legislative debates over reproductive rights continue.

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