Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion
Maryland law restricts young women's access to abortion.
Is the law enforceable? Yes.
Who is considered a minor? A young woman under the age of 18.
What is required - parental consent or parental notice? Notice.
Who must be notified? One parent.
Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead? No.
What is the process for providing notification? A young woman may not obtain an abortion unless the attending physician gives notice to a parent, unless the young woman does not live with a parent and a reasonable, but unsuccessful effort has been made to give notice to a parent. A postal receipt showing that mail was sent by certified mail to the last known address of a parent is conclusive evidence of notice or a reasonable effort to give notice.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest? No.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse? No.
May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened? Yes. A physician has discretion to provide an abortion when, "in the professional judgment of the physician," parental "[n]otification would not be in the best interest of the minor."
May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances? Yes. There are three situations in which a physician has discretion to provide the procedure without parental notification. The physician would make the professional judgment that either: (1) notice to the parent may lead to physical or emotional abuse of the minor; (2) the young woman is mature and capable of giving informed consent; or (3) notice would not be in the best interest of the young woman.
Are there other significant requirements under the law? No. The law does not contain a judicial-bypass procedure.
Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law? No.
Other information about the law: None.
Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 20-103 (Former Statute Enacted 1967; Current Statute Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1991); Md. Code art. 1, § 24 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2002).