Ken and I believe in the sanctity of life, and will do our utmost to protect the health of women and the lives of the unborn.
We recognize that in Maryland people hold very strong opinions, not always grounded in fact, so there is a lot of work to do to promote a culture of life before you can succeed in legislating change.
We respect the opinions of those who disagree with us, and hope they would show us the same respect.
So let me be clear how Ken and I will govern.
• We do not believe that public funds should be used to finance a highly-personal elective medical procedure that compromises the strongly held beliefs of taxpayers who oppose abortion and do not want their taxes used for this purpose. We will defund Planned Parenthood.
• We believe women are being placed at perilous risk by unethical practitioners at substandard clinics, and support efforts by Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to tighten oversight by requiring these clinics to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers.
• We will introduce legislation similar to the federal "Pain Capable Unborn Child Act (S.1670). If doctors are required by law to anesthetize a 20-week old fetus to operate on it in the womb because it can feel pain, then it is absurd for some to claim that we should not treat these children as human beings.
• We will introduce legislation to prohibit abortions being used for sex selection purposes. It is a sad commentary on our society that such legislation is even needed!
• We will not infringe on current exceptions involving victims of rape or incest, or cases involving the life of the mother. We will also make sure that women have access to the counseling they need in these cases and more broadly.
• Some have asked us about physician-assisted suicide. While all of us struggle with end of life decisions involving loved ones, we cannot support physician-assisted suicide.
A NEW WAY FORWARD:
Ken and I believe we can find common ground and strong majority support in these areas, to ensure that women receive quality care in Maryland health facilities while expanding protections of the unborn.
I will continue to bring people together on both sides of this deeply divisive issue to find common ground.