The Maryland General Assembly has passed a bill that seeks to amend the Maryland Constitution and create a state fundamental right to “reproductive freedom”. The state will ask voters to approve the amendment language on the November 2024 general election ballot. While the term “reproductive freedom” is yet undefined, there is no question that the amendment would be used to suppress pro-life speech and action in the state.
After nearly fifty years of federal abortion mandates, the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) finally returned the power to restrict abortion to the states. But while many states are choosing to move forward with legislative protections for preborn human beings that reflect advances in medical science, the state of Maryland has taken a regressive and even oppressive approach to abortion. Far surpassing former federal abortion precedent, the Democrat majority in the Maryland General Assembly has established a taxpayer funded monopoly of the abortion industry over women’s reproductive health.
Similar bills have been introduced but thwarted by pro-life advocates three times in the previous four legislative sessions, including a 2020 privacy amendment and a 2019 bodily autonomy amendment. Maryland Right to Life (MDRTL) led grassroots coalition efforts to defend the unalienable right to life guaranteed by the Constitution against the three prior legislative attacks.
During recent state legislative hearings, MDRTL Executive Director, Laura Bogley testified that the abortion amendment “would empower the state to weaponize our state Constitution and use the full force of state government to silence opposition and squeeze out any pro-life competition to the abortion empire’s death on demand agenda”. Bogley further cautioned lawmakers that “this bill would deprive women reproductive choices and access to lifesaving alternatives to abortion by threatening the very existence of pro-life pregnancy centers.”
Many Republican lawmakers are asking why such an amendment is necessary considering that Maryland has some of the most liberal abortion policies in the nation. Despite the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, abortion remains legal in Maryland through all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason, under the Maryland Freedom of Choice Act (1991). According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 81% of women in Maryland have access to an abortion provider in their county. Three practices in the state perform late term abortions of viable babies at the age of 26 weeks or older.
Contrary to the fear mongering often heard from abortion proponents, women in Maryland are not being threatened with prosecution for seeking abortion nor are they being denied medical intervention for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. But the state has long forsaken its promise of “safe, legal and rare” abortion, offering women and girls nothing more than unlimited access to abortion. The legislature has gone to such extremes to deregulate the abortion industry that they have removed abortion from the spectrum of healthcare in all ways except funding.
Democrat lawmakers have repealed criminal penalties and statutory restrictions on abortionists and abortion practices. Regulations on abortion clinics and practices are not routinely enforced, including mandatory reporter requirements in suspected cases of rape or sex trafficking. Physicians now serve only a tangential role on paper if at all, either as remote medical directors for abortion clinics or as remote prescribers of abortion drugs.
It is important to note that while the term “reproductive freedom” is not defined in Maryland law, the bill sponsors say it would include new rights broader than abortion rights. Some of these new rights may include commercial uses of human embryos and transgender rights including the use of puberty blocking drugs and surgical mutilation of genitalia- even among children.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Commit to pray personally for defeat of the Amendment, at the same time as thousands of people across Maryland, at 1:27 p.m. in the spirit of Psalm 127:3, which states: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Ask your pastor to share the truth about the dangerous “Reproductive Freedom” Amendment with the congregation and community. Provide your pastor and other community leaders BULLETIN INSERTS and FACT SHEETS found at:
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