Maryland’s House Speaker Michael E. Busch plans to lead an effort to enshrine in the state constitution a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, joining a number of other states attempting to preempt any move by the Supreme Court to erode abortion protections.
Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said he will personally introduce and garner support for legislation asking voters to approve a constitutional amendment, probably in the next presidential election. An amendment would mean that even if the Supreme Court overturned its ban on state laws prohibiting abortion, no such legislation could be passed in Maryland.
“If [voters] decide that this becomes part of the constitution, a woman’s right to choose will never be debated; it will never be a bargaining chip” in the legislative process, Busch said.
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who personally opposes abortion, said that he is not sure a referendum is necessary but that letting voters decide “sounds like a great idea.” Ben Jealous, his Democratic opponent, vowed to campaign in support of the amendment.