ANNAPOLIS -- A leading Senate Republican opposed to abortion-rights legislation said yesterday that his bills were not being considered because the Senate's Democratic leadership wants to push through its own abortion bill.
"All I'm asking is that these bills be considered," Senate Minority Leader John A. Cade, R-Anne Arundel, said during yesterday's Senate session. "Now, I know everybody's in a damn big hurry, but it's only the first third of the session."
On Tuesday, the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee approved a bill that would keep most abortions legal in Maryland zTC in the event of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling reversing existing rights to an abortion. The Senate committee bill also would require that a parent be notified before a minor has an abortion.
Full Senate debate should begin tomorrow and is expected to last for at least two days.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer refused to say if the Senate's bill was the type he would sign.
"I'm going to wait until the bill gets here," he said. "I'll wait until it arrives and then I'll make some comments."
During yesterday's Senate session, Mr. Cade complained that four "pro-life" bills, including those he had sponsored, were simply being ignored.
"None of these bills were even considered, and I would suggest that no bills be put forward until all these bills have been voted on," he said. "I think these matters deserve fair consideration."
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's, said he would note Mr. Cade's remarks. That response did not satisfy Mr. Cade.
"I don't care if you make note of my remarks or not," Mr. Cade told the Senate president. "If the train is on the track and you're going to run over us, at least let us have a little courtesy while you run over us."
Senate leaders have maintained tight control of abortion legislation this year, hoping to avoid a repeat of the eight-day, contentious filibuster that occurred last year. Senate leaders have said they do not expect a filibuster this year.
"I don't believe that a successful one could be maintained," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Patrick O'Reilly, D-Prince George's, who also said he was "unalterably opposed" to the legislation the Senate will consider.
The problem in attempting a filibuster this early in the session is that it would delay consideration of other major legislation, such as the budget, said Senator O'Reilly.