Delegate Wants to Make Abortions After 20 Weeks Illegal

ANNAPOLISMD - Women may not be able to get abortions in Maryland 20 weeks after fertilization if a bill makes it through the Maryland General Assembly.

"We recognize now that babies in the womb feel pain. At 20 weeks and older they start to feel pain. That's about five months. You're talking five-month-old babies and older in the womb. Since they do feel pain, we need to make sure we're protecting those little people. They are viable around that time," says Del. Neil Parrott, (R) of Washington County.

Parrott is sponsoring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. He says people have many misconceptions about late-term abortions.

"Right now, a lot of people don't know that abortion is legal in Maryland from right at conception all the way to nine months," Parrott says. 

The only exception in the bill is if the mother has a medical emergency. The bill has bipartisan support, including Washington County Democrat John Donoghue, who's one of 23 co-sponsors.

Some pro-choice delegates have issues with the bill.

"I always have believed and will continue to believe that it's a woman's decision. It's interesting that most of these bills are put forth by men. I'm satisfied with what we have, and I'm really tired of revisiting it," says Del. Galen Clagett, (D) of Frederick County.

The bill has passed in eight other states.

"These are little citizens and the rights we have as citizens in the country, one of them is the right to life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but if we're not even allowing a little person to be born, that's really cheating them and violating our constitution of the right to life," Parrott says. 

Parrott's bill, House Bill 1312, will have a hearing Friday in the House Health and Government Operations Committee. Parrott says if the bill doesn't pass this year, he'll introduce it again during next year's session.

Sen. Edward Reilly is sponsoring the bill in the Maryland Senate. His bill, Senate Bill 456, will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on March 20.

You can read the house bill by clicking here and the senate bill by clicking here.

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