SB 420 — Health – Abortions – Reporting Requirements

Committee: Senate Finance

Position: SUPPORT

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) offers this supporting testimony to Senate Bill 420. 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.

Senate Bill 420 would require abortions to be included annually in Maryland’s Vital Statistic Report, expanding applicable data as it pertains to women’s health as well as prenatal and maternal risk factors. Without examining the full scope of the problem, a solution cannot be presented and the state cannot provide the resources to better the health of women and their families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “47 states require mandatory abortion reporting” and notes, “abortion reporting is important to define characteristics of women at high-risk for unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, pre-term delivery, and labor complications.” Senate Bill 420 would allow for Maryland to compile state-wide data on health services advancing the state of medical knowledge concerning maternal and fetal health. Abortion and pregnancy rates can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning programs and programs for preventing unintended pregnancies.

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 Senate Bill 420. Thank you for your consideration.