We are 2 weeks and a day from the end of the 2022 Legislative Session.
On Wednesday, March 30th, at 1 p.m. the Senate Finance Committee will hold its hearing on HB 1171 - Constitutional Amendment to add to the Declaration of Rights a Right to Reproductive Liberty. This Right to Reproductive Liberty not only removes any rights or personhood from pre-born babies from conception to birth but it also leaves newborn babies unprotected during the perinatal period.
We must expose how extreme these bills are as well as how vague, misleading and deceitful is the wording of the ballot question of the Constitutional Amendment contained in HB 1171. All the voter will see is:
"Question ___ Constitutional Amendment
The proposed amendment confirms an individual's fundamental right to the individual's own reproductive liberty and provides the State may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.".
It is deceitful in that it leaves out the wording of the actual amendment contained in HB 1171 which states: "That every person...has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty which includes the right to make and effectuate decisions regarding the individual's own reproduction, including but not limited to the ability to prevent, continue, or end their pregnancy..."
HB 626 (SB 669) - Pregnant Person's Freedom Act gives us a window to what "including but not limited to" could mean. It would prohibit any investigation or penalty for a person "experiencing" a "perinatal death related to a failure to act". While the dictionary defines perinatal as the period from 20 weeks into pregnancy through 28 days of newborn life, the bill does not define perinatal. It could extend much further than 28 days after birth. A perinatal death due to a failure to act could occur if a newborn baby were not fed, given water, or kept warm. etc.
Please email or call members of the Senate Finance Committee and urge an Unfavorable Report for HB 1171.
Maryland Senate – Finance Committee e-mails:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember that Constitutional Amendments do not go to the Governor. If approved by the Senate HB 1171 will appear on the General Election ballot.
HB 937 - that commits $3.5 million a year of taxpayers' dollars to train abortion providers has passed 2nd reader in the Senate and will likely be up for final passage this week. Please let your Senator know you oppose this bill. How many poor children could receive dental care for $3.5 million a year? (Roster by County attached.)
In another important area, I call your attention to bills listed under the Education heading of the Weekly Update. Many children are performing below grade level in reading and math and other classes due to the long period out of the classroom. They need all of the opportunities in-class instruction can provide. However, several bills are near passage that prohibit penalizing disruptive behavior in the classroom. HB 0084 and SB0119 will remove penalties for disrupting the learning environment or committing offenses in the school they attend. HB 0146 changes the law to only apply to offenses that occur off of school premises.
At the same time, HB 0495 to authorize student organized peaceful demonstrations at school, during school hours has passed the House 96-40 and is in the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. Does this make sense with students falling farther behind in academic achievement?
Please continue to make your views known to Maryland's legislators. What you are doing is very important.
Maryland Federation of Republican Women
MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 3-27-22.docx