WASHINGTON – Abortions are more difficult to obtain than at any time since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, but they are easier to get in Maryland than in most states, an abortion rights group says.
A study released Tuesday by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League said 25 states have two or more restrictions. Nine states have no restrictions.
Maryland’s sole restriction is that physicians of unmarried minors have to notify patients’ parents or guardians before performing an abortion unless the doctor thinks it is not in the best interest of the patient.
In other states, women face waiting periods, parental consent, state-mandated lectures and lack of funding for poor women seeking abortions, said NARAL President Kate Michelman.
Michelman also said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a trend toward fewer abortions. The number of reported abortions between 1993 and 1994 decreased by 4.7 percent, according to the CDC.
Michelman said she did not know whether the drop was due to fewer unwanted pregnancies or to lack of access.
NARAL also rated lawmakers on their support of abortion rights.
Sens. Paul Sarbanes, D-Baltimore, and Barbara Mikulski, D- Baltimore, and Reps. Benjamin Cardin, D-Baltimore, Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, and Constance Morella, R-Bethesda, scored 100 percent on key congressional votes.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Frederick, was the only Maryland legislator who rated a zero.
“I am proud to receive a zero from NARAL because it is an organization that advocates abortion on demand under any circumstances,” Bartlett said.