As reported in the Action Alert on 2/17, hearings will be held on two far-reaching bills dealing with abortion and the right to life for unborn babies.
HB 1171 - to add a Right to Reproductive Liberty to the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution. It would eliminate any right of an unborn child to life from conception through birth. This right would include, but not be limited to the ability to prevent, continue or end their pregnancy. The Health and Government Operations Committee hearing is 2/22 at 1 p.m.
SB 669 - Pregnant Person's Freedom Act explicitly states that a person cannot be subject to prosecution or penalty for terminating their own pregnancy at any time or experiencing a perinatal death related to a failure to act. Perinatal is the period of time between the 20th week of pregnancy and 28 days into newborn life. The hearing on SB 669 is in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on 2/23 at 1 p.m. Sign up for written or oral testimony is from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday.
What might a failure to act include? Not providing food, water, warmth, medicine or medical care to a newborn baby?
Your e-mails to the HGO Committee members to OPPOSE HB 1171 and to JPC on SB 669 are vitally important. The committee e-mails are on the MFRW web site under the Action tab. Scroll to the committee, click on "copy all e-mails" and highlight, copy and paste the addresses into your email.
However, there is more. This is the time in the session when bad bills can be passed and not draw a lot of attention because there are so many bills under consideration. An example is HB 0001 the Constitutional Amendment for legalizing Marijuana for adults. It has received a favorable report and will be on the floor of the House for 2nd reading tomorrow. The implementation bill HB 0837 will also be on the House floor this week.
Among all the negatives we have some bills to SUPPORT.
HB 757 - Interscholastic Intramural Sports (Save Women's Sports Act) would limit girls sports to biological females. The hearing is in the House Ways and Means Committee on 2/24 at 1 p.m. This is a virtual hearing. Sign-ups for written or oral testimony are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 2/22. For information on this issue see our MFRW brochure on Teen Girls and Women.
HB 758 - Requiring posting on a school's web site of lesson plans and information on textbooks & other reading materials, videos, websites, etc. for schools with 400 or more students. HB 758 is also on the hearing schedule for 2/24 at 1 p.m. in the Ways and Means Committee.
Our thanks to Delegate Kathy Szeliga and the 16 Republican Delegates who are sponsors of these two important bills. Please testify for a favorable report either as written or oral testimony, or send the committee members e-mails requesting a Favorable Report
Please take a few minutes and review the Weekly Update. All the bills being heard this week are highlighted in red.
MFRW Legislative Chairman
MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 2-20-22.docx