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Maryland House passes abortion rights constitution amendment

March 14th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland House has voted  to enshrine the right to abortion in the state’s constitution and for a separate measure to broaden access to providers, as supporters cited the possibility that a conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overturn or weaken abortion-rights protections. WBAL reports the House voted 93-42 for the constitutional amendment. If approved by the Senate, voters would have the final say in November.

The constitutional amendment, sponsored by Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, comes at a time when states mostly across the South and Midwest are moving to limit access to abortion. Other states are acting to protect abortion rights. Vermont lawmakers already have approved a constitutional amendment to guarantee access to legal abortion, and it will come before voters in November.

The Supreme Court has signaled in a case out of Mississippi that it would roll back abortion rights, and possibly overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, in a ruling expected later this year.

Maryland passed legislation in 1991 to protect a woman’s right to abortion in state law if the Supreme Court should ever restrict abortions. It was petitioned to the ballot, and voters approved the right to abortion in 1992 with 62% of the vote. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in the state, and the General Assembly is heavily Democratic.