MD lawmakers approve family-planning rule

Posted at 6:14 AM, Apr 05, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland would become the first state to stop participating in a federal family planning program known as Title X due to a proposed Trump administration rule, under a bill approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

The state Senate gave the bill final approval on a 28-16 vote Wednesday. That sends the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Trump administration rule would prohibit family planning clinics funded by the program from making abortion referrals. Critics denounce that as a "gag rule."

The Maryland measure would prevent the state's health department from accepting federal money under Title X if it excludes family planning providers and if it repeals the requirement for medically approved services.

The state would fund Maryland's Family Planning Program at the same level as the previous year.