The Court of Appeals has wisely refused to throw out Attorney General J. Joseph Curran's ballot description of the abortion law Marylanders will vote on in November. Now both sides of this divisive issue can move beyond arcane arguments about the wording of the 100-word summary that will be printed on the ballot and focus on taking their case to voters.
Most people have long since made up their minds about abortion, but each side will want to make sure that voters understand the provisions of this particular law. In effect, the measure codifies the guarantees embodied in Roe vs. Wade. That is the major point of contention between supporters, who believe abortion should not be criminalized, and opponents, who are determined that it will be.
The law would replace a restrictive abortion law that became unenforceable after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. In the event that the court overturned Roe vs. Wade, voting for the law at issue in November would essentially continue the status quo on abortion. Will abortion remain legal in Maryland? That is the central question voters must answer.