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Md. Lawmakers Vote To Protect Planned Parenthood If Feds Yank Funding

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Maryland General Assembly is making good on its promise to fund Planned Parenthood even if the federal government doesn't.

A bill is now headed to Governor Larry Hogan's desk after the Trump Administration triggered a call to arms from Maryland Democrats. It provides nearly $3 million to the healthcare nonprofit should federal funds be cut.

Defense of Planned Parenthood was a key element in the Women's March in January. It triggered a call to arms from Maryland Democrats.

"The State is going to stand up to Donald Trump, I promise you that," said Democratic Speaker of House of Delegates Mike Busch.

The General Assembly finalized its bill Tuesday.

Now Maryland's General Assembly has passed a bill to reimburse planned parenthood for medicaid services in case the federal dollars are cut off.

"No federal funds go to abortion at all so all of them are preventive health services, so we're talking basic health care," said Joanna Diamond of Planned Parenthood.

"We just want to make sure our $25,000 or more women get to continue to have the Planned Parenthood services in the state of Maryland," said Senator Nancy King (D-Montgomery County).

The bill shields Planned Parenthood with $2 million from the State's Medicaid budget, and another $700,000 from the general fund should Republicans in Congress succeed in cutting off federal funds.

"We are very proud that our state legislature has stepped up," Diamond said.

"People, especially poor women will be at risk in the state of Maryland if Congress succeeds in denying them access to this one provider," said Senator Richard Madeleno (D-Montgomery County).

Governor Hogan has not said whether he will sign the bill.

While the governor's office says the bill will be reviewed, it passed the House and the Senate with enough votes to override a veto.

Efforts in Washington to defund Planned Parenthood are expected to continue.

"We are very thankful to the Maryland General Assembly," Diamond said.

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