Legal experts are challenging Maryland's Pregnant Person's Freedom Act of 2022, which would, among other things, revise the state's fetal murder and manslaughter laws. Attorney Olivia Summers of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) calls the measure problematic.
"The bill prevents any investigation into an infant birth called a perinatal death, related to a failure to act," Summers explains. "Under Maryland code, perinatal death is a term that's used to describe basically the first week to 28 days after birth."
If passed, the bill would also prevent any investigation into the babies' deaths, which means any child who dies because of neglect would receive no justice.
"While we've been focusing on the possibility of one to 28 days, there is a possibility that this could be argued in the future as applying to a parent who allows their child to die within the first six months of birth," Summers continues. "So there are a whole host of issues, and this would open the floodgates to lawsuits for sure.
Though the Senate sponsor pulled Senate Bill 669 the day before a hearing was to be held, an identical companion bill in the House (House Bill 626) is still active and awaiting consideration.