The following is an op-ed piece from Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Ryan Nawrocki.
Maryland’s laws allow abortion for all nine months of pregnancy. For the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, there are no restrictions for abortion. For the last 16 weeks of pregnancy, the minimal restriction requires a medical provider performing the abortion to verify that the pregnant woman would suffer “mental distress” should she carry the baby to term. There is no requirement that the pregnant woman gets psychological help in response to her mental distress either before or after the abortion. The medical provider who is paid to perform the abortion is the one who can assess the mental health distress yet is not required to prescribe treatment or help for the pregnant woman.
Maryland’s abortion laws are radical, allowing full-term healthy babies to be aborted and failing to ensure that women who have a late-term abortion get mental health care.
Maryland taxpayers also fund abortion for all nine months. There is a clinic in Montgomery County that performs late-term abortions and many hospitals, including Johns Hopkins, perform late-term abortions. There is a new abortion clinic opening up in Cumberland, Maryland reportedly so that women from other states outside of Maryland can be taken there for virtually unrestricted abortions.
Reasonable people agree that abortion for rape, incest, the life of the mother, and severe abnormalities of the fetus should remain legal. Reasonable people also agree that allowing healthy full-term babies who can survive outside the womb to be aborted simply for “mental distress” is barbaric.
The 2023 Maryland General Assembly session sadly resulted in the passage of a package of bills that will further expand abortion access in Maryland. These new laws were passed by the pro-abortion supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly and then signed by Governor Wes Moore into law, further solidifying Maryland’s place as one of the most abortion-friendly states in America.
The legislature passed a bill (HB 477/SB 341) requiring Maryland public colleges and universities to make a “reproductive health services plan” for students, which includes offering abortion or establishing a network of local providers to send students for abortions. Sadly, there are no provisions in this law (PDF) to offer services to students who choose life, like providing prenatal care services. We offered an amendment to include services for women wanting to keep their babies, which failed largely along Party lines. The law prioritizes abortion over life on public colleges and university campuses—making academic institutions a haven for abortion and unfriendly to women who choose life.
Governor Moore proudly highlighted that on his first day in office, he released $3.5 million in funding for abortions in Maryland. This funding allows non-physicians to perform abortions. This is radical and not safe for women. Maryland is poised to become a mecca for the human trafficking of minors forced to have an abortion without parental consent.
Claiming that abortion access needs to be expanded is outrageous when Maryland has some of the highest abortion rates in the nation due to the permissive language used in our state laws and a lack of regulation. Maryland is one of only three states that does not report any abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abortion is already “enshrined” in Maryland and the argument that abortion is a fundamental right is false when healthy full-term babies are aborted at will. Also, your minor daughter can get an abortion without parental notification or consent. When preborn life is so easily discarded, we are not working in the best interest of ALL Marylanders. All human life is equal and worthy of protection.
The package of bills that passed this session also permits the use of your tax dollars to fund and promote more abortions. We saw NO advancement of any life-affirming policies this legislative session.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the power returned to the people to protect the preborn, the fight to protect the preborn in Maryland has become all the more important. We must continue to stand strong in sharing the truth and hope that life is precious at every stage, that expecting mothers should be provided and cared for, and that equality begins in the womb. We will not give up standing for the right to life – including the protection of teenage girls, women, and their preborn children!