Just after Alabama approved one of the most controversial anti-abortion laws in the country, state officials from Maryland and Colorado took consequential actions against the state in an effort to refute the bill.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot ordered state officials to review Maryland’s pension portfolio for any investments that are affiliated with the state of Alabama, and subsequently divest from them.
Franchot said that Alabama lawmakers “thrust their religious interpretations” into the legal system, and chose to “weaponize their system of laws to punish women who are already experiencing great vulnerability.”
“However, I can work to ensure that Maryland’s taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize extremism,” he continued in a Facebook post. The Democratic legislator asserted that the state would divest from all Alabama-based companies, including investment managers, brokers, and consultants that are headquartered or have regional offices in the state.
In addition, he requested that employees and trustees of the pension refrain from traveling to the state “under any circumstances—be it for professional conferences or meetings with investment partners.”
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold also called for a similar travel boycott of the state, saying “Until the laws of Alabama allow for safe and legal access to health care for women, we call on the Election Center to move the location of its trainings from Alabama. I will not authorize the spending of state resources on travel to Alabama for this training or any other purpose.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey received nationwide criticism for her passing of legislation that bans abortion at every stage of pregnancy, and criminalized the procedure for medical professionals with a penalty of up to 99 years in prison. The move banned abortion in most circumstances—even when conception was situated through rape or incest—but allows for abortion to occur when the pregnancy seriously endangers a mother’s well-being.
Franchot implored that he hopes his actions will influence the thinking of Alabama lawmakers and other states who “may be contemplating abusing public laws for theocratic gratification.”
Representatives from Gov. Ivey and Comptroller Franchot’s offices did not respond to calls by press time.
Colorado Public Pension Returns 18.1% in 2017
Maryland State Retirement System Returns 8% for Fiscal 2018