December 29, 2023

Maryland Referendum Proposes Constitutional Right to Abortion

photo credit: Craig Fildes / Flickr
A November 2024 ballot referendum in Maryland will determine whether the state will create a right to abortion in the Maryland Constitution.

Like Ohio's recent vote, the referendum will pass with a simple majority. Unlike Ohio, both chambers of the state's legislature had to pass the amendment referendum by a three-fifths vote. The Democrat majority legislature approved the amendment earlier this year.

Maryland's proposed amendment states, “every person, as a central component of an individual’s rights to liberty and equality, has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including but not limited to the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy. The state may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Abortion in Maryland is already legal through all nine months of pregnancy. State law says that abortion after viability is unrestricted if it is deemed "necessary to protect the life or health of the woman." These laws allow physicians, such as abortionists, to determine whether the abortion will protect the mother's health (including mental health).

If passed, the amendment would prevent any future pro-life legislature from protecting the unborn.