UPDATE, 2/24/19, 11:21p CST: The Washington Post is reporting that Democrat Speaker Michael Busch has decided to withdraw his constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion into the Maryland constitution, claiming the Senate president does not want to take up any constitutional amendments this year. Instead, their hope is to take it up next year. WashPo writes, “[Miller’s chief of staff] said Miller’s stance was not a reaction to recent outcries over bills related to late-term abortions in New York and Virginia. Republicans, including President Trump, have seized on those debates in hopes of rallying their antiabortion base in the 2020 election. The backlash has stymied Democratic efforts in some states to bolster abortion protections. Democrats in New Mexico and Vermont have recently taken legislative steps toward protecting abortion rights.”
2/24/19: Maryland may become the next state to legalize euthanasia, as an assisted suicide bill comes up for debate this Friday. The End of Life Option Act would allow patients to request self-administered medication to end their lives. The introduction of the euthanasia measure comes on the heels of Democrat Speaker of the House Michael Busch’s announcement that he plans to push an amendment to enshrine abortion on demand in the state’s constitution.
The End of Life Option Act represents the fourth time in the last five years that euthanasia legislation has been introduced in Maryland. Introduced this year as Senate Bill 311 and House Bill 399, the measure would apply to individuals with a terminal diagnosis of less than six months to live, and it would require two physicians’ consent, as well as a determination of mental soundness. Committee hearings on the bill were held on February 15th in the state House and February 19th in the state Senate.
As Maryland Right to Life has pointed out, “There is evidence that any so-called safeguards that might come attached to the bill do not work. Maryland’s leading disability rights groups recognize the many dangers the bill poses to those with intellectual and development disabilities, such as falling prey to undue influence from doctors or family members, resulting in a lack of true informed consent.” As the experience of two decades of euthanasia in The Netherlands has shown, despite the professed intentions of pro-euthanasia legislators to deal with only the “tough cases,” euthanasia inevitably leads down a slippery slope and threatens the most vulnerable among us.
In addition to the possible legalization of euthanasia, the so-called Abortion Amendment, HB 1031, was preliminarily introduced on February 9th, with a first hearing scheduled for March 8th. As Maryland Right to Life has stated, the measure “would be a devastating blow in the fight to protect the unborn.” HB 1031 would enshrine abortion “rights” from conception until birth into the Maryland constitution, much in the same way New York did.
Maryland, home of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, already has extremely permissive pro-abortion laws. In addition to being allowed under Roe v. Wade, abortion on demand has been proactively protected since the 1991 Freedom of Choice Act. There are no waiting periods, and state law allows doctors to waive the parental notification requirement.
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