The Maryland legislature is currently considering two radical abortion measures in anticipation of the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year.
The first is a bill titled the “Declaration of Rights – Right to Reproductive Liberty” which would place a question on the ballot in the state’s general election in November asking whether an absolute right to obtain an abortion should be made part of the Maryland state constitution.
That bill passed without any problem through the state House of Delegates but has been slowed in the state Senate. Last week, a series of amendments stalled the bill, with House member Neil Parrott saying that Maryland Senate Republicans “let it be known they were going to blow the bill up.” He also warned that the House might try to force the Senate to take the bill up again by holding other legislation “hostage.”
While the bill has not been withdrawn, Senate President Bill Ferguson agreed to hold the bill, neither killing it nor moving it forward.
The second bill is titled the “Abortion Care Access Act.” It easily passed through the state House and has also just been approved by the state Senate along party lines. The bill must be returned to the House for three readings and would then be sent to Republican Governor Larry Hogan to be signed into law.
The bill allows healthcare professionals other than physicians to perform abortions, including physician assistants, nurses, and midwives. It also allocates $3.5 million in public funds each year for abortion training in addition to the millions of dollars taxpayers already spend on abortions through the Maryland state Medicaid program.
A witness before the state Senate during the discussion of the bill said that the measure is a “dream come true” for the abortion industry.
Democrats voted down nine separate amendments to the bill offered by Republicans, including provisions for requiring providers to notify parents before performing abortions on girls as young as 13.
Republican state Senator Justin Ready said that Democrats have come a long way from the call for “safe, legal, and rare” abortions, now taking the position that any restrictions, “even for late-term abortions,” are wrong.
Republican lawmakers in the state have been actively calling on the public to pressure Democratic lawmakers to withdraw the bills. It is unknown whether Gov. Hogan intends to sign or veto either or both of the bills in the event they are delivered to him for enactment.