MD Comptroller Urges Divesting From Alabama Over Abortion Ban
April 14, 2020
ROCKVILLE, MD — Maryland’s chief financial officer is urging the state’s pension system to thoroughly review all business relationships it has in Alabama, which passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion bans on Wednesday.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot took to Facebook Thursday to condemn the bill, calling it radical and a “malicious assault on the rights and protections of women everywhere.”
“I obviously have no direct control over the behavior of Alabama lawmakers who would thrust their religious interpretations upon those they are paid to represent, and who choose to weaponize their system of laws to punish women who are already experiencing great vulnerability,” Franchot said. “However, I can work to ensure that Maryland’s taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize extremism.”
Franchot — a Democrat who also serves as vice chairman of Maryland’s State Retirement and Pension System — is asking the system to review the inventory of assets that the state has in Alabama, as well as all investment managers, brokers, and consultants that have officers there. Franchot said he hopes that the review will “initiate the process of full divestment” from the Cotton State.
In his Facebook post, Franchot also requested that no system employees or trustees travel to Alabama.
“It is my hope that this travel restriction would be replicated throughout Maryland state government as a whole.”
Franchot’s post comes a day after Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 314 into law. The “Human Life Protection Act” bans doctors from performing abortions on women “except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” according to the bill’s text.
Doctors who break the law can face up to 99 years in prison.