This law has been passed in the Senate House as a right to abortion in relation to the Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act. The last hearing was in Senate House on 14th March 2022 which was canceled.

SB699 is the short form of Senate Bill 699 which grants the right to abortion to women who wish to abort the unborn child for various reasons such as medical concerns or as a personal choice to do so. In Maryland, abortion clinics had been at a declining rate since 1982 when it had about 52 such clinics at that time and came down to 25 around 2014, in spite of abortion being legal in all of the United States.

Abortion law has always been a controversial topic in the political scenario as well as the religious beliefs of the people in the United States. Because of the moral restrictions of society, the Heartbeat Bill was passed that stated that once the heartbeat of the fetus was detected, the abortion would be denied.

However, there have been several debates based on passing such laws on grounds that were not tangible. One such argument was that the heartbeat could be detected by invasive transvaginal ultrasound which detects heartbeat at a very early stage and another way was with the help of a stethoscope. So, which of these would be the grounds on which abortion would be based?

What is SB669 Maryland and Abortion Bill?

The Senate Bill 699 of Maryland comes under the right to an abortion bill that grants women the legality of abortion and within it is to be incorporated into the State constitution of Maryland which comes after many pleas.

The proposed bill comes along with another bill called House Bill 1171 “Declaration of Rights- Right to Reproductive Liberty” which states a pregnant woman is not to be burdened with the responsibility of the birth of a child that a woman does not want and the State is not to deny the freedom to the individual of discarding the fetus.

New Maryland Abortion Law SB669 and the SB669 28 Days Explained

The other law of SB669 which is also called the “Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022”, alongside the law, stated in the above paragraph speaks of the right of the pregnant person to abort the child without the interference of the state which means that there will be no investigation done if a newborn child has been abandoned and left to die without the first 28 days after its birth.

This bill emphasizes the law that already exists in the state that an unborn child does not hold an individual identity and is deprived of all rights as personhood.

Maryland: Abortion after Birth

The bill has faced a tremendous amount of criticism from pro-life activists who predict that atrocities against newborn babies will increase since the proposed Bill is likely to “Legalise Infanticide up to 28 Days After Birth” as it states that there will be no legal action if a baby dies within 28 days in spite of being left or abandoned.

The activists expressed concern regarding a baby surviving an abortion procedure and soon after birth would be abandoned as it was unwanted which would result in the baby dying. The law goes to the extent of protecting the person involved from legal investigation or any type of persecution or penalty in relation to the baby dying within 28 days after birth because of neglect and not from the intention of abortion for which it would not be investigated either.

Pro-life activists have also pointed out the loopholes of the law and said that the proposed law is protecting the sexual abusers and sex traffickers for whom it gets easier to get the victim to have an abortion even after the birth of the child and protect them from persecution or being tried in the court.

Parallel to that, if a person was caught for having a direct reason for the death of a child aged less than 28 days, then the mother of the baby could sue the authorities and also have the right to demand compensation for investigating the death of the baby and accused of being a convict.

Advocates fighting for the rights of the newborn child have stated that if the bill is passed then it is likely to increase the number of atrocities committed against women and babies alike. There have been organizations that spoke up against this law and passed a petition against it to stop it from being effective.