(BALTIMORE – September 27, 2022) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that five Baltimore-based organizations will receive investments totaling $167,900 in funding to extend and strengthen abortion and family planning services. In June, Mayor Scott and members of the Baltimore City Council created the Abortion Protection Fund, an ongoing fund to safeguard abortion services and other family planning services in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The awards, which range in size from $50,000 to $8,000, will support access to abortion, family planning, birth control, and reproductive health, with applicants focusing and reaching those who will be most impacted by the recent Supreme Court decision.
“In Baltimore, we stand strong in protecting reproductive rights and women’s rights, and that includes protecting access to abortion and reproductive health care” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Thank you to these fantastic organizations – we are proud to support their ongoing work serving Baltimoreans and helping make our city a safe haven for out-of-state care-seekers.”
Maryland has had strong pro-choice legislation in place since 1992, and expects to see increased demand for these critical medical and supportive services for women and families. The Baltimore Civic Fund, which is the fiscal sponsor for the new Abortion Protection Fund, moved urgently to connect area providers with increased funding quickly. Given the unknown landscape around access to abortion and family planning services in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision, the City has the ability to make additional rounds of investments from the Abortion Protection Fund.
“Abortion funding is vital in helping to have access to our most vulnerable women in need,” said Councilmember Sharon Middleton, District 6. “This initiative will surely help women making difficult decisions and provide hope in Baltimore City.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to repeal Roe v. Wade has destabilized communities across our country. In Baltimore, we are proud to proactively stand up for the right to reproductive health,” said Councilmember Zeke Cohen, District 1. “We are thrilled to have set up this fund and grateful to the organizations that were selected for the critical work they are doing.”
“Protecting the right to reproductive healthcare, access to birth control, and safe and legal abortion care is a more than just public health issue – it is a human rights issue,” said Councilmember Phylicia Porter, District 10. “This is not a time to be quiet or afraid; now is the time to fight to protect the right to bodily autonomy.”
The five organizations receiving funding for abortion and family planning services in this first round of the Abortion Protection Fund are:
Baltimore Abortion Fund will use grant funding to expand abortion access by providing financial assistance to people who cannot afford the cost of their abortion. The cost of an abortion ranges from $500 to over $10,000 before factoring in the cost of travel, childcare, and taking time off work with no pay. Despite the strong legal protections in Maryland, many Baltimore and Maryland residents cannot afford the care they need – support from the Baltimore Abortion Fund will help them access that care.
Baltimore Doula Project will widen the spectrum of reproductive health care by providing doula services to people having abortions in the Baltimore area. Doulas aim to meet people where they are in their unique experience, with the understanding that race, socioeconomic status, religion, culture, and sexual and gender identity impact access to and experiences with reproductive health care. Abortion doula services are provided free of cost to patients and clinics, and funding will help reach more people in need.
Baltimore Medical System, Inc. will expand access to free contraception education and birth control to low-income patients through the recently acquired East Baltimore Medical Center and the new BMS at Yard 56 location opening early 2023.
Planned Parenthood of Maryland will fund staffing support for three medical assistance and one clinical trainer, with the ultimate goal of expanding abortion access across seven health centers in the Planned Parenthood System – both to meet the usual baseline of demand and to scale up the anticipated influx of patients from outside of Maryland seeking abortion care.
The Ulman Foundation will fund Patient Navigators, individuals who are trained to assist young adults facing a cancer diagnosis through the family planning process. Ulman navigators can be a resource to provide important information about family planning to young patients to help them make the best decisions before they begin treatment.