Maryland ‘Keep Our Hearts Beating Act’ (HB 978)
This law was last updated on Apr 17, 2019
HB 978 would prohibit a physician from performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant person if it has been determined that the fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a person’s first missed period—and well before many even realize that they are pregnant.
The bill would require a physician to first determine whether the fetus the pregnant person is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. The bill requires the physician to use a method to detect the fetal heartbeat that is “consistent with the standard of care.”
A physician would be able to perform an abortion only in cases of medical emergency or if it has been determined that there is no detectable heartbeat.
A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a felony and subject to up to one year in prison, a fine, and disciplinary action.
A physician who attempts to detect a fetal heartbeat would need to include the following in the patient’s medical record:
- The method used to detect the heartbeat;
- The approximate gestational age of the fetus; and
- Whether a fetal heartbeat was detected.
A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a misdemeanor—punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
The bill would repeal certain provisions of law which prohibit the state from interfering with the decision of an individual to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable; or any time during a pregnancy if it’s necessary to protect the pregnant person’s life or the fetus has a serious abnormality.
Companion bill to SB 1008.
2/8/19 – Introduced; referred to House Health and Government Operations Committee.
- Lauren Arikan
- Brian Chisholm
- Jerry Clark
- Dan Cox
- Nino Mangione
- Michael Malone
- Seth Howard
- Steven Arentz
- Joseph Boteler
- Johnny Mautz
- April Rose
- Sid Saab
- Jeff Ghrist
- Kevin Hornberger
- Richard Impallaria
- Susan Krebs
- Charles Otto
- Christopher Adams
- Jay Jacobs
- Susan McComas
- Ric Metzgar
- Warren Miller
- Neil Parrott
- Teresa Reilly
- Haven Shoemaker