Maryland advances bill affirming constitutional ‘right’ to abortion


Last week, a Maryland House committee approved a constitutional amendment to create a ‘right’ to abortion in the state’s constitution.

House Bill 705, would guarantee to “every person … the fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including the ability to “prevent, continue or end one’s own pregnancy.”

“This bill is about the right of a woman to make the fundamental decision about her own pregnancy,” said House Health and Government Operations Chair Joseline Peña-Melnyk. “This bill is about giving Marylanders the decision about the fundamental right of reproductive freedom [and] should it be enshrined in our state constitution. It is the highest level of protection we can give.”

“I want to clarify that the bill does not change Maryland’s current law which provides that the decision about abortion rests with the woman in consultation with her provider,” Peña-Melnyk also mentioned. “… This bill is about a woman’s right to choose what we do with our body, when and where.”

Republican lawmakers reportedly attempted to pass three amendments to the bill, one of which would have guaranteed constitutional provisions to the unborn, while another would have changed the euphemistic phrase “reproductive freedom” to the word “abortion” to make sure voters know the phrase’s true meaning. All suggested amendments failed.

The proposed amendment has already received the support of Gov. Wes Moore, who earlier established himself as a staunch abortion supporter and called for the state to become a “safe haven for abortion.”

“In the wake of the overturning of Roe v Wade, it is the only way to ensure that the rights of future generations of Marylanders are protected,” Moore said of the amendment.

According to Maryland Matters, lawmakers are also considering a similar bill in the Senate. Testimony both for and against the amendment was heard earlier this week.

“Abortion remains one of the most immoral actions that can be done to any person,” said one witness, identified as an attorney who represents Maryland Family Institute, according to CBS News. “Part of the text of this bill talks about the individual’s right to liberty and equality, but what should be included here is that babies are individuals.”

One of the bills would need to pass the supermajority in both the House and Senate before heading to voters for final approval.

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