Updates in Maryland

Maryland recently enacted two new laws which took effect on July 1, 2022.  They are:

Abortion Care Access Act

On July 1, 2022, Maryland will be expanding abortion access across the State. The Abortion Care Access Act will grant $3.5 million in state funding annually towards abortion care training. The Act will also allow nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants to provide abortion care in Maryland. The nurses and physician assistants who are licensed and authorized by law to perform abortions would be considered a qualified provider.

Minors will also be able to get abortions without notice to their parents. The requirements of performing abortion without notice are that notice to the parent may lead to abuse of the minor; the minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent to an abortion; or notification would not be in the best interest of the minor. Also, if the minor decides to not have an abortion, the qualified provider will not provide any notice to a parent about the minor’s decision.

The Act also provides that most insurance carriers will cover abortion care without a deductible or any restrictions that are protected by the law. The insurance carriers shall also provide information to their consumers about abortion care when describing their coverage.

Elijah Gorham Act

On September 18, 2021, Elijah suffered a head injury during a high school football game. Elijah was sent to the hospital and sadly passed away three weeks later.

Taking effect on July 1, 2022, Maryland has passed the Elijah Gorham Act. This Act will require every middle and high school to have “a venue-specific emergency action plan for all athletic facilities.” The plan will include a defibrillators on the sidelines, the school being equipped and prepared to initiate cold water immersion treatments when needed for heat strokes, and the coaching staff being trained on how to use an external defibrillator and the cold-water immersion treatments properly.

The school will post their plan at the facility, on the school’s website, to each member of the coaching staff, and the plan will be rehearsed by the coaching staff before each season.