But Baltimore lawmakers are now focusing their attention on the issue of abortion, approving a resolution on Monday to establish the city as an abortion "sanctuary" over the probable forthcoming overturn of Roe v. Wade.
What are the details?
The Baltimore City Council — which is comprised of 15 Democrats and zero Republicans — unanimously approved a resolution to establish a fund that will aid women who are seeking abortions.
The fund will give money to Baltimore-based "reproductive health organizations," according to WMAR-TV, thus allowing them to expand their capacity to help women abort their unborn children. The resolution did not specify how large the fund will be, but it disclosed that taxpayer dollars as well as donations would comprise the fund, WBFF-TV reported.
"We may not change the misguided minds of Supreme Court Justices, but we will not allow them to take away voice and choice here in Baltimore," city council member Zeke Cohen said.
The development comes two weeks after a leaked opinion draft indicated the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, which many legal scholars — both those who support and oppose abortion rights — agree was decided on questionable jurisprudence.
After the leaked opinion draft erupted controversy, the Baltimore Sun editorial board called on Maryland lawmakers to pass an amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.
State residents have long made clear they support access to legal abortion, voting protections into Maryland law in 1992, and expanding access to it through the legislature this year, by allowing more providers to perform the procedure and requiring health insurance plans to cover it. But during the past legislative session, lawmakers failed to advance an effort to enshrine such reproductive rights in the state Constitution, leaving it subject to political will. That must be rectified at the earliest opportunity.
California is also working to become a "sanctuary" state for abortion.
Passing such laws would conceivably align with Alito's guidance as outlined in the leaked opinion draft.
"It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives," he wrote
Alito also wrote, "We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey [v. Planned Parenthood]. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives."