Eastern Shore lawmakers weigh in on abortion bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Some Eastern Shore legislators are pushing for a bill that would require certain hospitals and institutions to report abortions to the Maryland Department of Health.

“If you think about it we count so many other areas,” said Senator Mary Beth Carozza (R-District 38C).

“We count hysterectomies, we count breast cancer, and all this does is a simple reporting that just counts the number of abortions and that would be reported,” said Carozza.

Senate Bill 420 cross filed with House Bill 0630 would stiffen up penalties for certain physicians who fail to report an abortion to the Maryland Department of Health.

Also, women who choose to abort would be asked to provide a reason like rape, incest or lack of resources, something Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-District 37A) is against.

“All those things are a part of this bill to say is this why you’re having an abortion,” said Sample-Hughes.

“You know at the end of the day, some things again should be sacred, and I don’t know if it should be important if it’s important for us as a community to have all those details,” said Sample-Hughes.

The report must also include the patient’s county and state of residence, age and race, the method of abortion used and more. However, it may not include the name of the patients as well as their physician’s.

And, Senator Carozza said this will help to make better future policy decisions.

“We’ve been focused on teen births, putting programs together to try to address those issues, but you need all the information to make good policy decisions when it comes to policy, when it comes to funding and when it comes to research,” said Carozza.

Delegate Sample-Hughes said there is already enough personal information being accessed from the public and that women should have the choice of whether or not to share their decision on abortion.

“In this day and time I don’t think we need much more personal information given out as we have so much access to information at times when we don’t need to have it, and I think this is one of those times,” said Sample-Hughes.

This bill will have had its first hearing on Friday. The bill also says that if a physician who acts on behalf of a hospital or other institution fails to submit a report is subject to a fine of up to $500 dollars for each violation.

The bill also says the report must include the month during which the abortion was performed as well as the gestational age of the fetus at the time of the abortion.

Categories: Maryland