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Maryland ‘Keep Our Hearts Beating Act’ (HB 978)

This law was last updated on Apr 17, 2019


This law is Anti–Choice

State

Maryland

Number

HB 978

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Feb 8, 2019

Topics

Heartbeat Bans

Full Bill Text

mgaleg.maryland.gov

HB 978 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.”

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 disciplinary action.

Records

A physician who attempts to detect a fetal heartbeat would need to include the following in the patient’s medical record:

  • The method used to detect the heartbeat;
  • The approximate gestational age of the fetus; and
  • Whether a fetal heartbeat was detected.

A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a misdemeanor—punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

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.


Related Legislation

Companion bill to SB 1008.

Similar to HB 933 and HB 1195.


Latest Action

2/8/19 – Introduced; referred to House Health and Government Operations Committee.


People