WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Planned Parenthood Advocates for D.C., Maryland and NoVa (PPADMV) in a virtual town hall on Thursday night for a discussion on D.C. statehood.
PPADMV sponsored the discussion to bring light to the connection between the issue of statehood and healthcare inequities in the district, as the district is not a state.
In D.C., legislation passed by council must be signed by Mayor Bowser and then approved by Congress — however, neighboring states do not have to go through this process. Because of this, Maryland residents are able to use Medicaid cards when visiting Planned Parenthood for medical procedures, but in D.C., the burden of payment is left to the resident.
PPADMV said that this disproportionately impacts minorities and low-income families and leads to a cycle of issues with healthcare access.
“In terms of D.C. statehood, the moment is now for Congress, this Congress, to grant statehood to the District of Columbia. The time is now,” said Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of PPADMV.
“The injustice of it and the right-partisan nature of objections to D.C. being added as a state clearly is meant to suppress Black and brown votes or democratic votes,” said Mayor Bowser.