NARAL Pro-Choice America

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Freedom of Choice Act

Maryland has created additional protections for reproductive rights by adding an affirmative right to choose into its state law.  In 1991, the legislature passed a pro-choice law asserting that the state could not interfere with a woman's right to decide whether or not to continue her pregnancy within the boundaries established in Roe v. Wade.  Anti-choice groups collected petitions to force the measures contained in the new law onto the 1992 ballot with the intent to repeal the law, but Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved the law.  This law ensures women's access to pre-viability abortion services and would remain in effect even if Roe v. Wade were overturned.  Sandy Banisky, Voters Reaffirm Stand Favoring Abortion Choice, Balt. Sun, Nov. 5, 1992.

"[T]he State may not interfere with the decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy:  (1) Before the fetus is viable; or (2) At any time during the woman's pregnancy, if [t]he termination procedure is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or . . . [t]he fetus is affected by genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality."  Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 20-209 (Enacted 1991).

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