HB 933 Abortion – Detection of Fetal Heartbeat

Committee: House Health and Government Operations

Position: SUPPORT

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) offers this supporting testimony with amendment to House Bill 630.  The Conference represents the public policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington, which together encompass over one million Marylanders.

This bill prohibits a physician from performing or inducing an abortion (1) before determining whether the fetus has a detectable heartbeat or (2) if the physician determines that the fetus has a detectable heartbeat. A violator is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for up to 12 months and a fine up to $2,500. A violator may also be subject to disciplinary action. An individual who receives an abortion in violation of the bill’s provisions may recover civil damages from the physician who performed the abortion.

A complete statistical profile of pregnancy is very useful to promote life in our state.  It is for these reasons that the Conference asks for a favorable report for House Bill 933.  Thank you for your consideration.