Maryland Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 603)

This law was last updated on Jun 28, 2016


This law is Anti–Choice

State

Maryland

Number

HB 603

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Feb 3, 2016

Topics

20-Week Bans, Later Abortion, Physicians Reporting Requirements, Reporting Requirements

Full Bill Text

mgaleg.maryland.gov

HB 603 would prohibit performing or inducing an abortion unless the physician first makes a determination of the probable gestational age of the fetus, except in cases of a medical emergency.

The bill would ban abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, an abortion is necessary to avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition.

The bill states that an abortion does not become necessary if the risk of death or a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function arises from a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

The bill also states that an abortion performed after 20 weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, unless in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function than would another method. No such greater risk would exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which will result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a bodily function.

The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

A violation of the provision would be considered “unprofessional conduct.”

Physician Reporting Requirements

Abortion providers would be required to report certain information to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, including:

  • if the determination of probable post-fertilization age was made, what was determined, and how it was determined, including whether an ultrasound was used;
  • if a determination of probable post-fertilization age was not made, why not—what was the basis for a determination that a medical emergency existed;
  • if the probable post-fertilization age was 20 weeks or more, the basis for a determination that a medical condition necessitated an immediate abortion to avert the woman’s death or serious injury;
  • the method used for the abortion;
  • whether an intrafetal injection was used to induce fetal demise;
  • the age and race of the patient;
  • if the probable post-fertilization age was 20 weeks or more and an abortion was performed, whether the method performed provided the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, and if not, why not.

Reporting Requirements

The bill would require the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to issue a public report providing statistics compiled from all the reports provided by physicians by June 30 of each year.

STATUS

Companion bill to SB 749.

Similar to HB 1312 and SB 456, both of which failed to pass in 2015.


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