Montgomery County executive bars employee travel to states banning abortions

Montgomery County employees have been directed to not travel to states that ban abortion. 

Following the Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health on Friday, County Executive Marc Elrich issued the business-related travel ban saying states like Alabama, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and over a dozen others put the health and safety of Montgomery County employees at risk. 

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"These states have demonstrated a hostility to reproductive freedom, individual autonomy, and access to safe reproductive health treatments," a statement from Elrich's office reads. "Our County taxpayers expect the County's resources to uphold County values and Maryland state law. Therefore, we will not provide funding to these state economies." 

The ban includes travel that is funded by the County or by an outside entity. Certain exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

"The Supreme Court ruling today jeopardizes women, rolls back fundamental rights, and, ultimately, will significantly impact the health and life of many women in our Country," Elrich said in a separate statement. "This ruling turns the clock back on the progress that has been made to ensure the right of women to have an abortion. This is not about law, this is about a twisted ideology. The irony is that this decision comes one day after we celebrated Title IX and its impact on the progress of women. I am very concerned that there will be additional rollbacks from this court that will impact our rights.

"While we cannot directly affect other states' actions, we can make certain Montgomery County does not provide additional revenue to states which are unwelcome to women’s freedom. Therefore, I have directed Chief Administrative Officer Richard S. Madaleno to draft a new policy for County employees (with limited exceptions) that bars County payment for travel to states with policies that roll back a woman’s right to choose, and I call on other jurisdictions which cherish a woman’s autonomy to withhold funds from these states as well. While Montgomery County does everything it can to protect the right to an abortion, we will also not give taxpayer dollars to states that try to drag us back to a dark past."