The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill Thursday that will allow Marylanders to decide whether a reproductive rights amendment should be added to Maryland’s constitution.
The referendum outlined in the Right to Reproductive Freedom Act will be on voters’ ballots in 2024. If it passes, Maryland will join three other states that have enshrined abortion rights in their state constitution.
Maryland’s current laws already protect abortion access. But a constitutional amendment would assert abortion access as a fundamental right for future generations.
The Right to Reproductive Freedom Act does not require Gov. Wes Moore’s approval to appear on the ballot, but he has voiced his support for the legislation.
The bill is part of a larger package of legislation aimed to strengthen reproductive rights in Maryland. The other bills in the package, including ones to ensure patient privacy, are also on track to pass both legislative chambers and be signed into law by Moore.
Protecting reproductive rights was a major pillar of Moore’s gubernatorial campaign and one of the biggest priorities for lawmakers this legislative session.
During his first weeks in office, Moore announced his support for the Reproductive Freedom Act at a press conference with other Democratic leaders.
“We’re going to make sure that Maryland is a safe haven for abortion rights long after I’m governor of this state,” Moore said during the news conference.