Tags: Abortion | Maryland | abortion laws

Maryland Abortion Laws and How They Compare Nationally

By    |   Saturday, 26 Sep 2015 11:54 AM

Maryland abortion laws are among the most permissive in the nation.

Maryland has standard consent requirements involving minors, but doctors are allowed discretion in deciding if a parent or guardian should be notified. For example, a doctor is allowed to avoid notification if the minor is considered mature and capable of making the decision, according to Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

The doctor may also avoid notification if it would not be in the best interest of the minor, if abuse might occur from notification, if the minor does not live with a parent or guardian, or if a reasonable effort was made to reach a parent or guardian unsuccessfully.

Vote Now: Do You Support Tougher Regulations on Abortion Clinics?

Maryland abortion laws permit abortion on demand, even during a late-term pregnancy, Maryland Right to Life reported. The state law protects doctors who perform abortions from legal action. Health care workers are vulnerable to civil and disciplinary action if they refuse to make abortion referrals, according to the Maryland Right to Life group.

The permissive abortion laws in Maryland have given the state an A rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. The high rating is in contrast with neighboring states, such as Delaware, which received a C, and West Virginia, which received a B- mark. Pennsylvania and Virginia received F ratings by NARAL.

Like California, another permissive state when it comes to abortion laws, Maryland has no waiting periods for abortion. California also has few restrictions on such issues as parental involvement or publicly funded abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Abortions under plans in the Affordable Care Act are restricted in nearby Pennsylvania and Virginia. In both states, counseling is required and information is given to discourage abortion.

Vote Here: Should Abortion Clinics Be Subject to Tougher Regulations?

Maryland abortion laws are far more permissive than many other states around the country. For example, Texas received an F rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. In contrast to Maryland, Texas requires state-directed counseling and information to discourage abortion before the procedure is allowed. In Texas, a woman is required to undergo an ultrasound, and the provider must describe the image to the woman. Ultrasound is require at least 24 hours before an abortion if the woman lives within 100 miles of the abortion provider, the Guttmacher Institute reported.

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