Maryland Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Ban (HB 933)
This law was last updated on Apr 15, 2019
HB 933 would prohibit a physician from performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant person if it has been determined that the fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a person’s first missed period—and well before many even realize that they are pregnant.
The bill would require a physician to first determine whether the fetus the pregnant person is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. The bill requires the physician to use a method to detect the fetal heartbeat that is “consistent with the standard of care.”
The health department would be allowed to adopt regulations for the method to be used in order to detect a fetal heartbeat.
If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the physician would need to inform the pregnant person of their right to hear the heartbeat. The pregnant person would not be required to listen.
A physician would be able to perform an abortion only in cases of medical emergency or if it has been determined that there is no detectable heartbeat.
A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a felony and subject to up to one year in prison, a fine, and civil action.
The bill would repeal certain provisions of law which prohibit the state from interfering with the decision of an individual to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable; or any time during a pregnancy if it’s necessary to protect the pregnant person’s life or the fetus has a serious abnormality.
2/8/19 – Introduced; referred to House Health and Government Operations Committee.