HB 53 — Public Health – Contraceptive Devices – Minors

POSITION: SUPPORT

COMMITTEE: HOUSE HEALTH AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the mutual public-policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. We offer this testimony in support of House Bill 53. 

Parents bear the first responsibility for their children’s physical well-being. House Bill 53 would not allow a health care provider to insert or implant a contraceptive device into the body of a minor without the written consent of a parent or guardian. This legislative proposal would help strengthen parental rights and authority by encouraging parental involvement, wisdom and guidance in medical decision making. 

Minor children are not mature enough to think through the consequences of complicated medical decisions. House Bill 53 would assure that minors would not face decisions about the insertion or implantation of contraceptive devices without parental guidance and insight, so as not to leave minors open to pressure and coercion from outside interests and influences. 

Our government should be working to support and assist parents in making the best decisions possible for their children, especially when serious medical issues, are at stake. 

For these reasons, we urge a favorable report on House Bill 53.