Surrounding States

June 30, 1992

Here are the provisions of abortion laws in Maryland and surrounding states:

Delaware

Delaware follows the guidelines established by Roe v. Wade, allowing liberal access to abortions in the first six months of pregnancy. Lawmakers have not enacted any additional restrictions on access to abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision yesterday "doesn't have any impact" on existing law but "may well renew debate" over proposals for new restrictions, said Attorney General Charles M. Oberly 3rd. For example, he cited a parental consent proposal that has so far failed to reach a vote in the legislature.

District of Columbia

The District follows the guidelines of Roe v. Wade, allowing liberal access to abortion. However, the district bars Medicaid payments for any poor woman wishing to get an abortion unless it is necessary to preserve her life. Also, abortions cannot be performed in any public clinic, according to a D.C. government ++ spokesman.

Pennsylvania

In 1989, Pennsylvania became the first state in the country to take advantage of the Supreme Court's 1989 Webster V. Reproductive Health Services decision allowing states to limit abortion rights. The law's most controversial provisions require:

* A 24-hour waiting period for abortions after a woman makes her first visit to a clinic or hospital.

* The consent of one parent for unmarried girls under the age of 18 or permission from a judge.

* That doctors tell women seeking the procedure about fetal development and alternatives to abortion.

* That doctors provide detailed reports to state officials on each abortion performed.

* A ban on all abortions after 24 weeks unless the mother's life is threatened.

* A ban on all abortions in cases where parents want a child of another sex.

The Pennsylvania law also required wives to inform their husbands before obtaining an abortion, but that provision was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

Virginia

Virginia's current abortion law follows the basic guidelines of Roe v. Wade, according to Assistant Attorney General Mark Bowles, but with some restrictions after the first trimester.

* Abortions during the second trimester must be performed by physicians in licensed hospitals.

* Termination of pregnancies in the third trimester must meet three conditions: 1) they must be performed in a licensed hospital, 2) three physicians must certify that continuation of the pregnancy would likely result in the death of the woman or substantially and permanently impair her physical or mental health, 3) life support must be available and used if the fetus shows any clearly visible sign of viability.

A parental consent bill that would have required minors to notify parents or a judge before obtaining an abortion was vetoed by Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. It is expected to become an issue again in the 1993 legislature.

West Virginia

West Virginia follows the guidelines of Roe v. Wade, with no restrictions of abortions late in the pregnancy, said Attorney General Mario J. Palumbo.

The state does requires notification of one parent or legal guardian 24 hours before an unmarried minor living with a parent is scheduled to receive an abortion. The young woman may go to court to seek a waiver of the notification requirement.

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