HB 1171 - Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Liberty

HB 1171 - Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Liberty

Position: Oppose

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 opposition of House Bill 1171.

House Bill 1171 would establish a fundamental right to reproductive liberty and would enshrine abortion, at any stage, into our State Constitution. We believe that every person is created in the image and likeness of God and all life should be protected and respected from conception to natural death.   

There is no need for a Constitutional amendment; unfortunately, Maryland currently has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country and there is no lack or risk of access to abortion. As a society we are broken when a response to any pregnancy is fear rather than joy. We must do better as a society to walk with mothers in need and help break down economic, social, racial, employment and emotional barriers that lead mothers into thinking abortion is the only option.   

As Pope Francis reminds us “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor….they deserve the utmost reverence and respect.”

For these reasons, we urge an UNFAVORABLE report on House Bill 1171.