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Maryland Considers Creating Constitutional Right To Abortion

Maryland state House Democrats proposed a constitutional amendment Monday enshrining abortion rights within the state, the Associated Press reported.

The proposal was introduced by state House Speaker Adrienne Jones, who said the Supreme Court “has allowed some of the most restricting abortion legislation we’ve seen in a generation,” according to the AP.

Jones appeared to refer to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans most abortions after six weeks, to stay in effect while the court considers whether the law is constitutional.

If the Maryland General Assembly approves the Right to Reproductive Liberty measure, voters will see the amendment on the ballot in November.

The bill does not specifically mention abortion, but instead refers broadly to “the right to bodily integrity and privacy to make personal decisions about childbearing and procreation.” The amendment would establish that “every person … has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty” and would bar the state government from “directly or indirectly denying, burdening, or abridging” the right to have abortions.

Maryland already has a law that makes abortion legal up to the point of viability.

Roe v. Wade restricts states’ ability to regulate abortion up to the point of viability; overturning the Supreme Court decision in the case could allow states to restrict abortion but would not necessarily impose any new restrictions on abortion.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health in June. The case is a direct challenge to Roe, and it offers the justices a chance to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling.

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