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Md. Catholic Conference: Abortion amendment would be a divisive waste of political energy

A counter protester holds a sign while standing on the sidewalk at Union Square during a pro-choice rally on July 10 in New York. Many Democrats and abortion-rights supporters believe a new conservative justice could tilt the court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
A counter protester holds a sign while standing on the sidewalk at Union Square during a pro-choice rally on July 10 in New York. Many Democrats and abortion-rights supporters believe a new conservative justice could tilt the court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. (Julie Jacobson / AP)

The announcement by House Speaker Michael Busch of his intentions to introduce legislation establishing a woman’s “right” to abortion by way of a Maryland constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot should be of great concern to both Maryland lawmakers and voters (“Here’s why an abortion rights amendment in Maryland would matter,” Aug. 2). The strongly divisive nature of national politics is spilling into our state because of proposals such as this. Now is a time when our lawmakers, especially those in leadership positions, should be working to bridge the partisan divide for the betterment of all Maryland citizens. Instead, this unnecessary effort will further drive a wedge through the electorate and divert already limited time and resources from addressing the many critical issues facing our state. The plight of working families to provide necessities for their children, the rampant violence on the streets of Baltimore, the opioid crisis that has found its way into every Maryland community, and the dire issues facing our immigrant families — all will suffer because of the misdirected efforts and politically-driven motives fueling this initiative.

Today, younger Americans are increasingly expressing pro-life opinions, and it is disappointing to think that our political leaders aren’t seeking more bipartisan ways to channel this generation’s positive energy toward efforts that would improve the lives of all. It is a sad but well-known political reality that, thanks to the undue influence of the nationally-backed and well-funded pro-abortion lobby, our lawmakers have no intention of overturning Maryland’s already broad and permissive abortion laws. As evidence of this reality, consider the fact that this past session, our legislature was not even willing to provide statutory protection to an unborn child that dies as the result of a violent attack on a pregnant woman who has chosen to carry her baby to term. Given this context, it is clear that the proposed abortion initiative is an unconscionable waste of the political energy and enthusiasm needed to address the real issues affecting women in our state.

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As the state’s leading advocate for the underserved and vulnerable, regardless of life stage, socioeconomic class, or political affiliation, the Maryland Catholic Conference will work to defeat this proposal and we challenge all those who value the dignity and human rights of each Marylander to do the same.

Jennifer Briemann, Annapolis

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The writer is executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

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