ANNAPOLIS, MD – A proposed bill crafted by a Democratic senator in Maryland could potentially allow for babies to be killed up to 28 days after birth with no legal consequences to follow, due to some disturbing language contained within the bill.

On February 4th, Democratic Senator William Smith introduced the “Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022,” which outside of replacing the biologically sound term of “woman” with “pregnant person,” bears introduced language around circumstances in which a pregnant woman or abortion provider cannot be subjected to criminal and civil penalties.

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“(H) THIS SECTION MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AUTHORIZE ANY FORM OF INVESTIGATION OR PENALTY FOR A PERSON:

(1) TERMINATING OR ATTEMPTING TO TERMINATE THE PERSON’S OWN PREGNANCY; OR

(2) EXPERIENCING A MISCARRIAGE, PERINATAL DEATH RELATED TO A FAILURE TO ACT, OR STILLBIRTH.”

Specifically, it’s the mentioning of “perinatal death related to a failure to act,” that American Center for Law and Justice attorney Olivia Summers finds particularly concerning.

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According to Summers’ analysis of SB 669, she wrote, “the bill also proposes a revision of the fetal murder/manslaughter statute that would serve to handcuff the investigation of infant deaths unrelated to abortion. In other words – this bill will effectively legalize infanticide.”

The term “perinatal” is not clearly defined in Maryland law, with the closest the state comes to defining the term comes in a separate 2020 law that reads, “‘PERINATAL CARE’ MEANS THE PROVISION OF CARE DURING PREGNANCY, LABOR, DELIVERY, AND POSTPARTUM AND NEONATAL PERIODS.”

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When looking into the medical definition of perinatal, MedicineNet defines the term as, “the period immediately before and after birth. The perinatal period is defined in diverse ways. Depending on the definition, it starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth.”

With the aforementioned taken into consideration, Summers believes the bill could effectively be interpreted to allow infanticide by way of the non-criminalization of a “failure to act” circumstance in perinatal death.

“In other words, a baby born alive and well could be abandoned and left to starve or freeze to death, and nothing could be done to punish those who participated in that cruel death.”

Summers also decried the fact that following a perinatal death of a child, a mother could sue police for being investigated and/or arrested in the event the police discover a deceased infant who died during the legislatively vague perinatal period.

“Thus, according to this bill, if a baby died because it was abandoned and police investigated and eventually arrested the person responsible for the baby’s death, then the woman could sue the police and get monetary damages for having been investigated and arrested.”

Democrat Senator Smith reportedly didn’t provide any comments when Summers reached out to their office regarding the language of SB 669

This piece was written by Gregory Hoyt on March 9, 2022. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.

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