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Maryland to receive millions of stalled dollars to expand abortion care training

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CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE-- An abortion debate turned into a fight about funding last year in Maryland. 

But Governor Wes Moore is now releasing millions of stalled dollars to expand abortion care training.

Maryland's Planned Parenthood weighs in on this change as abortion still takes center stage in debates nationwide. 

Protesters met Friday in Washington DC for the annual March for Life movement.

Thousands of anti-abortion activists march every year since the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago granting rights to abortion.

But this year, it's the first time protesters marched since the high court overturned it last June.

One of Wes Moore's first new acts as governor, was signing off on $3.5 million to train health care providers in abortion care. 

Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood in Maryland Kyle Bukowski said they are "extremely happy that the Moore Administration released funds that are critical for increasing the abortion provider pool" in the state.

The Maryland General Assembly authorized the $3.5 million last year.

But former governor Larry Hogan withheld the money because he said he did not want to use taxpayer dollars to allow non-physicians to perform abortions.

However, Governor Wes Moore said the state needs to create a safe haven for reproductive care by expanding abortion training.

Planned Parenthood said the state's health department will decide how to allocate the new funds.

"From our best estimates, the Maryland Department of Health will likely choose a third-party organization to manage the funds."

Bukowski said the health department will likely create a program that pairs clinicians with abortion providers who can provide the training.

"They anticipate that the funding will be used to support the administrative overhead of selecting trainees, developing a curriculum, managing licensure and credential verification and offsetting the cost of training at the training sites," he said.

Bukowski said Maryland could end up creating a program that other states mirror to provide for patients.

"This is one of the first legislative directives of its kind to specifically allocate funding for training in high-quality, evidence-based abortion care," he said. "We hope other states follow suit to make this process of finding a training location easier and to support abortion providers in being able to take care of patients and provide high-quality training."

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