Everyone values life to some degree. So in a general sense, we are all pro-life. I mean, could anyone be described as anti-life? Why does the media describe those who are “Pro-life” as Anti-Abortion? Because Pro-life is perceived as a good thing, anti-abortion is perceived as a bad thing. It says you are against the right of a woman to choose. I’m not against a woman’s right to choose. I’m for life. The life of the unborn child.
The landmark case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, but with restrictions and depending on the stage of the pregnancy. In so holding, the court identified 3 trimesters:
(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician.
(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.
(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.
The State of Maryland currently has the language from the Roe case where it allows an abortion for the preservation of the life or health of the mother and added if fetus is affected by serious genetic defect/abnormality. On it’s face, the statute seems reasonable, but when applied, the statute fails to define who determines whether the mother’s life or health is in danger.
There is a reason that late term abortionist, Leroy Carhart has been coming to Maryland once a week from Nebraska for the past 5 years to perform late term abortions. He knows that Maryland is one of the most lenient States in the country in regulating late term abortions.
Most people I’ve talked to do not know that late term abortions are performed in Maryland and most people do not favor late term abortions, especially if the child is not only viable, but is healthy. There have been numerous women who have not gone through with a late term abortion with Carhart who have delivered healthy babies.
We need changes in our statute so that we are in line with the overwhelming majority of states that have restrictions on late term abortions.