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Maryland Abortion Laws

Maryland has similar abortion laws as other states, with standard consent requirements for unmarried minors but no statutory waiting periods. Only fully licensed doctors may perform the procedure, which may only be done before the fetus is viable (meaning able to survive outside of the womb) or where the termination is necessary to save the mother’s life.

Maryland Statutes

Abortion laws in Maryland are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Health & Gen. §§20-207 to 214; 20-103

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

Viability is defined as when, in a doctor's best medical judgment, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus' sustained survival outside the womb

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Performed before fetus is viable or at anytime where termination procedure is necessary to protect life, health of woman or fetus is affected by serious genetic defect/abnormality (procedure must be least intrusive and not inconsistent with established medical practice)

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

M.D. not liable if decision to abort made in good faith and in best medical judgment

Consent Requirements

M.D. may not perform an abortion on an unmarried minor unless M.D. first gives notice to parent or guardian, unless minor does not live with parent/guardian and reasonable efforts to give notice are unsuccessful or if in M.D.'s judgment notice to parent/guardian may lead to physical or emotional abuse, or the minor is mature and capable of informed consent or notice would not be in the best interest of minor

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Licensed M.D.

Ever since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the national debate surrounding abortion has continued to divide the country and abortion laws have continued to evolve. Since then, women have had a Constitutional right to choose whether to end a pregnancy during the first trimester, and abortion in the United States has been legal. That said, states are permitted to regulate certain aspects of abortion including the ability to impose counseling, waiting periods, and other requirements. Generally speaking, there is little or no legal way to have an abortion after the second trimester, unless the mother’s life is in danger.

Maryland Abortion Laws: Related Resources

The choice to have an abortion can have serious emotional and legal consequences. If you would like legal assistance with an abortion matter, or just want to know your rights and responsibilities, you can contact a health care attorney in Maryland. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on abortion, birth control, and health care law for more information and resources on this topic.

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