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Baltimore City Sponsors Abortion Tourism
Laura Bogley, J.D.
Maryland Right to Life | 14 September 2023
In August, Baltimore City completed its application process for its second round of taxpayer subsidies for interstate abortion tourism. Baltimore City’s Abortion Protection Fund is issuing cash rewards of up to $30,000 each to area abortion organizations that are engaged in interstate abortion coordination, importing women and their preborn children from neighboring states that have more protective laws.[i]
The City’s Abortion Protection Fund was first unveiled on June 24, 2022, by the Democrat-controlled Baltimore City Council and Democrat Mayor Brandon Scott as a counter-assault to the Supreme Court’s Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision issued the same day. Earlier that month, the Baltimore City Council had adopted a resolution declaring Baltimore City an “abortion rights protection jurisdiction.”
The Office of the Mayor issued a press release reading that the City would commit $300,000 in funding that year to “improve abortion care capacity in preparation for an increase in the number of out-of-state patients seeking to terminate a pregnancy.”[ii]
The Baltimore Abortion Fund, a nonprofit organization tasked with distributing some of the funding, reported that abortionists licensed in Baltimore City have committed 50% more abortions in the year following the Dobb’s decision.[iii]
While Maryland is one of only three states that shield abortion providers by declining to report abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Abortion Surveillance data, it is estimated that nearly 30,000 abortions were committed each year in Maryland pre-Dobbs.[iv] About one-third of those abortions were elective abortions paid for using state Medicaid dollars.[v]
Maryland Right to Life estimates that abortion tourism in Maryland will cost taxpayers an additional $10 million dollars annually in Medicaid reimbursements to abortionists.
Baltimore City is not the only Maryland jurisdiction investing local taxpayer dollars in abortion tourism. Last September, the Democrat-controlled Montgomery County Council adopted a similar resolution to establish an abortion grant program. In its first year, the program paid $1 million in public funds to area abortionists and organizations to defray the added costs of coordinating and committing abortions of out-of-state children. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, a Democrat, also spent public dollars to solicit businesses to relocate to the County to ensure their female employees have access to abortion to remain in the workforce.[vi]
The State of Maryland itself has become a state sponsor of the abortion industry, providing corporate abortion welfare since 1979. Maryland is one of only eight states where legislatures force taxpayers to pay for all abortions.[vii]
Each year the state spends millions in taxpayer dollars for elective abortions through state Medicaid and the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) as well as millions in annual subsidies to abortion providers through the Maryland Family Planning Program and various grant programs. But Planned Parenthood’s annual report proves that as public subsidies to corporate abortion have increased, so has their share of abortions.[viii]
Democrat Governor Wes Moore has declared Maryland a “safe haven for abortion access”.[ix] Despite the Dobbs ruling, the 1991 Maryland Freedom of Choice Act codified Roe-style abortion rights in state law, permitting abortion for any reason through birth.
While legal abortion is not at stake in Maryland, the state-sponsored monopoly of the abortion industry over women’s reproductive healthcare means pregnant women living in or traveling to Maryland will be subjected to a reduced standard of care and unnecessary risk. Multiply the cost and risk by the estimated 50-70% increase in abortions due to interstate abortion tourism, and the state will be enslaved by the abortion industry.
If the so-called “Reproductive Freedom” amendment to the state Constitution is ratified by Maryland voters in 2024, Maryland will cease to be the “Free State” and be known only as the “Free Abortion State.”
As for Baltimore City, the Mayor and City Council should starve not feed the pervasive culture of violence that threatens families and communities. Instead of using public funds to make the City a safe haven for interstate abortion traffickers, City leaders should make Baltimore a safe haven for children and pregnant women who are vulnerable to historical and systemic racism in the form of abortion coercion.
In 2022, Baltimore City reported the highest homicide rate per capita among all U.S. cities with 333 murders, nearly one homicide for every day of the year.[x]
According to a January 2022, Baltimore City Child Fatality Review Report, the leading cause of death of children in Baltimore City over the last five years was homicide. The 69 children killed were predominantly vulnerable infants and teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17. 90% of the children who died during this period were “children of color.”[xi]
In a January 2022 interview, Baltimore City Mayor Scott announced his “Anti-Violence Strategy” saying “We can’t accept that this loss of life is normal.” Scott called the continued bloodshed “a historical problem” caused by quick fixes of the past that worsened the problems.[xii]
Neither Mayor Scott nor the City has taken into account the thousands of children who die through abortion violence in Baltimore City each year or the historical connection between abortion, eugenics and Baltimore City’s 7.2% decline in population.[xiii]
With more than 22 million abortions of Black babies reported since Roe, abortion remains the leading cause of death of Black Americans, more than gun violence and the other top nine causes of death combined.[xiv]
A study released by Protecting Black Life, an outreach of Life Issues Institute demonstrated that the prevalence of abortion facilities within minority communities serves as a major contributor to the rate in which Black women obtain abortions. The study concluded that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities were strategically located within walking distance of African and/or Hispanic communities and “accordingly, Black women are 5 times more likely to have an abortion than White women.”[xv]
According to the CDC’s 2020 Abortion Surveillance Summaries, 39% of reported abortions were among Black women, who make up only 13% of the population nationally[xvi] but 61.6% of the population of Baltimore City.[xvii]
Based on CDC reports, it is estimated that there are 24 more Black abortion deaths than homicides committed on Black Americans.[xviii] If this formula is applied to Baltimore City’s homicide incidence of 333 homicides in 2022, we can estimate that 7,992 Black children were killed through abortion violence in Baltimore City last year alone, counting only residents. It follows that the estimated number of abortion deaths of Black children in Baltimore City far exceeded the number of lives births last reported as 5,679 in 2020.[xix]
After fifty years, abortion as public policy has failed to resolve the underlying socio-economic challenges women face in raising their children. Instead, government-sanctioned abortion has cultivated a culture of violence that destroys families and communities.
Recalling the words of Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore City leaders should not accept the loss of lives caused by abortion as normal but must break the cycle of abortion violence and empower women and men to choose life for their children.
[v] Medicaid Expenditures on Abortion, Analysis of the FY2024 Maryland Executive Budget, 2023, pp. 48-50, 61.
[xvi] Kortsmit K, Nguyen AT, Mandel MG, et al. Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2020. MMWR Surveill Summ 2022; 71 (No.SS-10): 1-27, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss77110a1