HB 1230 - Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act of 2022

HB 1230 - Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act of 2022

Position: Support

Committee: House Health and Government Operations

The Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.

HB 1230 prohibits an individual from purposely performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion” that kills an unborn child unless the abortion is necessary to prevent a “serious health risk to the pregnant woman.”  The bill may not be construed to create or recognize a right to an abortion or a right to a particular method of abortion.  In addition, the bill’s prohibitions may not be construed to prevent an abortion for any reason, including rape and incest, or by any other method.

The Church supports HB 1230 because its provisions intersect with the Church’s obligation to uphold respect for all human life.  The Catholic Church firmly believes in the dignity of human life from natural conception to natural death, and the partial limitations that HB 1230 places on legal abortion procedures in Maryland represent a positive policy development.  Maryland has some of the highest abortion rates in the nation due to the permissive language currently used in its state laws. The most recent data shows that in 2017, 29,800 abortions were provided in Maryland[1]

The Maryland Catholic Conference works to foster a culture of life in Maryland by advocating for laws that uphold the dignity of the human person and that assist pregnant women in need, while working to ensure that the State sets and enforces safe standards for women’s health care. 

The Conference supports legislation that would place qualifying conditions on the scope of abortions performed in Maryland, which allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, with essentially no restrictions on why those abortions are performed.

It is for these reasons that the Maryland Catholic Conference respectfully urges a favorable report for HB 1230.  Thank you for your consideration.

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[1] State Facts About Abortion: Maryland | Guttmacher Institute