While Maryland may be one of the leading states in progressive health care laws, it is important for residents to know how these laws affect them.
Below is an up to date list of laws and regulations in Maryland:
The Freedom of Choice Act:
Maryland added an affirmative right to choose into its state law. This ensures that a woman’s access to pre-viability abortion’s, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
"[T]he state may not interfere with the decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy: (1) Before the fetus is viable; or (2) At any time during the woman's pregnancy, if [t]he termination procedure is necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman; or . . . [t]he fetus is affected by a genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality." Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 20-209 (Enacted 1991).
Insurance Coverage for Contraception:
Maryland law requires health insurance plans that cover prescription drugs to provide equitable coverage for contraception. This law applies to insurance plans, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations. The law forbids insurers to impose different co-payments or coinsurances for contraceptives. Unfortunately, it does allow a refusal clause for religious employers to reject this coverage.
Protection Against Clinic Violence
A person who physically detains an individual or obstructs, impedes or hinders an individual, with the intent to prevent that person from entering or exiting a medical facility, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined up to $1000, imprisoned for 90 days, or both. Md. Code Ann., Crim. § 10-204 (Enacted 2002)
Post-Viability Abortion Restrictions
In Maryland, abortion is restricted after viability unless necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health. This restriction also applies if the fetus is affected by a genetic defect, serious deformity or abnormality. Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 20-209 (Enacted 1991)
Restriction on Young Women’s Access to Abortion
A young woman who is under 18 years of age must provide parental notice to at least one parent before obtaining an abortion. This restriction can only be waived under three circumstances by the physician:
1. Notice to the parent may lead to physical or emotional abuse of the minor
2. The young woman is mature and capable of giving informed consent
3. Notice would not be in the best interest of the young woman
Md. Code Ann., Health Gen. § 20-103 (Enacted xxxx; Last Amended xxxx); Md. Code art. 1, § 24 (Enacted xxxx; Last Amended 2002).