Md. Bill Would Codify Women’s Reproductive Rights, Access To Abortion


Some Maryland lawmakers are hoping to codify women’s reproductive health care access, or the right to an abortion, in the state’s constitution.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones, D-Baltimore County, said Monday that the action is in response to the Supreme Court decision that allows states, such as Texas, to strictly limit access to abortion.

“Right now, more than 36 million women across the country could lose critical access to reproductive health care,” Jones said. “Restricting women’s family planning options is dangerous and unacceptable. We will do everything we can to make sure that women’s reproductive healthcare is always protected in Maryland and send the message loud and clear that this a fundamental issue of liberty that cannot and should not be chipped away at or bargained for.”

The bill also states that necessary funding and policy changes would be implemented to make sure there is more access to reproductive health services if Maryland faces an influx of women from other states who seek care.

“The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 1991 to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Delegate Shane Pendergrass, D-Howard County, said. “Three decades later, we are still fighting to allow women to make medical decisions for themselves. These bills need to pass so women in Maryland have agency over their own bodies and health care decisions.”

These details on the legislation were provided by the sponsors:

The package includes House Bills 1171, 952 and 937. The legislation:

·        Introduces a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to guarantee reproductive liberty in Maryland’s constitution.

·        Increases the number of qualified providers we have in Maryland by allowing more types of providers to perform abortions and providing more access to clinical training for providers.

·        Removes financial barriers to accessing coverage for reproductive health care.