Marylanders to Vote on Abortion in State Constitution

( – The Maryland House of Delegates put forward an amendment to the state constitution on March 30th that will see state residents voting next year on whether to codify the right to abortion in the state’s founding document.

Delegates voted 98-38 in favor of the bill, which already passed the state Senate. A simple majority of voters in 2024 will decide the question once and for all.

When the US Supreme Court overturned its 1973 Roe vs Wade decision in June, 2022, the perennially explosive topic of abortion got even hotter around the country. Abortion proponents incorrectly characterized the 2022 overturning of Roe as a Supreme Court out of control that was, in their view, taking away the rights of women.

In fact, the 2022 decision technically did not take away any woman’s right to an abortion. It reversed the 1973 decision, which forced all US states to allow abortion within the first trimester. The 2022 reversal only gave back the right to regulate abortion back to the states, as had been the case prior to Roe in 1973.

Democratic states quickly moved to introduce legislation that would expand and protect women’s rights to abortion. Republican states did the opposite, either proposing tighter restrictions or making effective near-total bans on abortion using “trigger laws” that had been on the state’s law books waiting for Roe to be reversed.

Since November 2022, California, Vermont, and Michigan have amended their constitutions to enshrine the right to abortion. Kentucky citizens rejected a ballot measure that would have denied any state-constitution-based right to abortion.

Missouri may follow Maryland’s path in 2024 if proposed constitutional amendments make it to the ballot. Those proposals would alter the constitution to specifically codify the right to abortion, as well as the right to use birth control. Under current Missouri law, abortions are illegal except in cases of rape or incest.

Ohio abortion proponents are already trying to get the question on the 2024 ballot for a potential constitutional amendment. They’re trying to collect more than 400,000 voter signatures. 

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