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Maryland Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is legal in Maryland until the fetus is viable. After viability, an abortion is only available if necessary to save the mother's life or if the fetus is affected by a genetic defect, serious deformity, or genetic abnormality.

Introduction

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Maryland's laws generally permit pre-viability abortions.

In fact, 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 the life or health of the woman, or the fetus is affected by serious genetic defect/abnormality (procedure must be least intrusive and not inconsistent with established medical practice)

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Qualified provider not liable if the decision to abort was made in good faith and in best medical judgment

Consent Requirements

Qualified provider may not perform an abortion on an unmarried minor unless they first give notice to a parent or guardian, unless minor does not live with parent/guardian and reasonable efforts to give notice are unsuccessful or if in qualified provider'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

Qualified provider defined as a person with a license by law to practice in Maryland and for whom the performance of an abortion is within the scope of their license or certification

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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