Schaefer remains quiet on abortion
Gov. William Donald Schaefer was mum on abortion during last year's General Assembly session and, so far, he hasn't said much about the issue this year.
Since he released an abortion-rights statement before the November election, Schaefer generally has been tight-lipped when asked how he stands on a bill that would require parental involvement in a teen-ager's decision to have an abortion. That particular proposal is likely to be the most controversial issue in the abortion debate this year.
Asked again yesterday, Schaefer said he supports, "under certain circumstances," parental involvement. Asked if he wanted parental notification or parental consent -- two distinct issues to advocates on both sides of the question -- the governor replied: "Notice. Consent. I'm not going to go any further."
A bill that would prohibit abortion as a means of birth control or sex selection was introduced in the state Senate last night, marking the first legislative counterproposal to abortion rights bills filed earlier.
Described by its sponsor Sen. John A. Cade, R-Anne Arundel, as "an attempt to strike a balance between the competing interests," the bill is similar in part to anti-abortion proposals killed during the 1990 General Assembly.
Cade's bill would some allow abortions resulting from rape, if the fetus suffered a deformity or handicap and if a continued pregnancy threatened the mother with long-lasting physical harm.
Cade said separate bills calling for informed consent and setting forth abortion reporting requirements would be filed later.
The Senate Executive Nominations Committee has confirmed Gov. William Donald Schaefer's appointment of O. James Lighthizer as secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation.
Despite opposition by Anne Arundel Taxpayers for Responsive Government, which criticized some of the former Anne Arundel County executive's spending patterns, Lighthizer passed the first hurdle to a full Senate confirmation, expected soon.