Maryland ‘Keep Our Hearts Beating Act’ (SB 1008)
This law was last updated on Apr 17, 2019
SB 1008 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 HB 978.
2/25/19 – Introduced; referred to Senate Rules Committee.