In response to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced the county will restrict travel by government employees to states that have rolled back reproductive rights protections, and to those that are likely to do so in response to the decision.

County Chief Administrative Officer Rich Madaleno wrote the following in a memo distributed to Elrich’s office and other county office directors:

“By taking action to restrict access to reproductive health care services, the following states have possibly put the health and safety of our employees at risk while on official business. Therefore, effective immediately, I am directing all department and office directors and travel approvers to decline authorization of business-related travel to the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.”

In an interview on Friday, Elrich said that he hopes that other similar-minded states follow suit in order to cause a negative economic impact on those states that roll back rights and protections. He said the policy was being worked on after a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico earlier this year.

Madaleno wrote in his memo that exceptions to the policy will be made on a case-by-case basis. He added, however, that directors should be “judicious” when asking for exceptions. 

Madaleno wrote in a text to Bethesda Beat that some of those exceptions could include whether an urban search and rescue team is requested to assist in one of the states, or if mandatory training to retain a professional certification is only available in one of them.

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Madaleno added that county officials cannot require Montgomery County Public Schools or other local government entities to adopt similar policies. But he and colleagues have encouraged them to do so.

“These states have demonstrated a hostility to reproductive freedom, individual autonomy, and access to safe reproductive health treatments,” he wrote in the memo about the states on the county’s list. “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.”

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com

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