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One Night on the Virtual Campaign Trail

6/15/2022 | Josh Kurtz, Bruce DePuyt

Maryland Matters

At the exact hour Moore was gabbing with Oprah, rival John King and his running mate Michelle Siri were participating in an online discussion centered on protecting “the right to abortion care in a post-Roe world.”

The discussion was moderated by Lily Bolourian, head of Pro-Choice Maryland Action, which has endorsed the King/Siri ticket. It featured congressional hopeful Heather Mizeur (D) and Michele Gregory (D), a Salisbury city councilmember who is a candidate for state Senate. 

King left no doubt where he stood on the issue, saying “abortion care is health care.” 

He said that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, it would mean that his daughters would have less autonomy over their bodies than their mother and grandmothers have had.  

“We could see attacks on contraceptive rights. We could see attacks on folks’ ability to use [in vitro fertilization]. We could see attacks on civil rights for LGBTQ folks,” he said. “So this could be a real assault on human dignity.” 

Siri said Maryland is already seeing an influx of people from states where access is scarce and the laws are restrictive. 

“Clinics are seeing a surge in wait times. We’ve got wait times of four, five, six weeks or more,” she said. “The longer that somebody waits to get an abortion, the more expensive it becomes, the harder it is to obtain, and there are higher risks involved.” 

Siri called for a constitutional amendment to make sure that abortion access in Maryland is protected. 

King criticized Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kelly Schulz, who as a state delegate voted to restrict access to abortions. At a recent candidate forum, he charged, Schulz offered assurances similar to those Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh gave during his confirmation hearings. 

“It was an answer about ‘settled law’ that just doesn’t cut it in a post-Roe world,” he said. “This is not an issue where we can just trust someone who says: ‘This is a settled matter. Don’t worry.’”