Defending Life: MD General Assembly Mid-Week 9
Although many important issues will come up during week 9 of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2016 session, the most striking and revealing is Annapolis’s response to the pro-life movement.
March for Life
The 38th annual Maryland March for Life took place on Monday with a record crowd coming out on a warm, spring day. Although media outlets swarm tiny events that push radical leftist agendas, they are no where to be found for the single largest rally in Annapolis every year. Beyond a handful of Catholic news agencies and Red Maryland News Network, I did not see any of the other media present.
This year, two topics dominated: assisted suicide and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
As we informed you last week, the assisted suicide bill was soundly defeated in committee. I can now reveal to you that sources from within the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee say there were 9 votes against and only 2 in support of SB 418. Most likely, the lone supporters were the two co-sponsors that sat on the committee, Vice Chair Lisa Gladden (D-Baltimore City 41) and Senator Victor Ramirez (D-Prince George’s 47).
Sources also tell us that the committee turned strongly against the legislation because of the poor testimony by the bill’s sponsor Senator Ronald Young (D-Frederick 3), in which he came off as uninformed, clueless, callous, and having a complete disregard for the protection of the vulnerable or disabled. Sen. Young’s testimony did more to reveal the bill’s true nature as legalized murder than any of the opponents’ testimony, which either suggests he is a great pro-life advocate or an embarrassment to the liberals of the Maryland Democrats.
The crowd, which completely packed and overflowed Lawyer’s Mall in front of the State House, let out a great cheer when they were informed by Jeffrey Meister of Maryland Right to Life of the legislation’s defeat.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prevent abortions on what we know now are fully developed babies with the ability to feel great pain, became the greater focus of the march with hearings coming up Friday, March 11 in House Heath and Government Operations Committee (HB 60) and Wednesday, March 16 in the Senate Finance Committee (HB 749).
One of the speakers was Ramona Trevino, former manager of a Planned Parenthood in Texas and now a staunch pro-life advocate. In her testimony, she revealed to the crowd that even though her particular Planned Parenthood did not provide abortions, it was set up to ensure that there was a steady need for abortions Every aspect of the facility was to profit off of the termination of life, and they were taught to disregard the safety of minors and patients to reach those ends. When it came to videos that revealed corrupt practices, she was taught not to follow the law but to know how to spot any investigators to prevent the illegal conduct from being exposed.
The March for Life tends to have the greatest support from legislators, representing those from diverse backgrounds and ideologies. Many legislators appear each year, often different ones due to committee conflicts or other important matters. Here are the legislators who appeared this year:
Delegates: Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C Wicomico and Worcester), Mark Change (D-Anne Arundel 32), Mark Fisher (R-Calvert 27C), Robin Grammer (R-Baltimore 6), Seth Howard (R-Anne Arundel 30B), Michael Malone (R-Anne Arundel 33), Susan McComas (R-Harford 34B), Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel 33), Mike McKay (R-Allegany and Washington 1C), Christian Miele (R-Baltimore 8), Ric Metzgar (R-Baltimore 6), Anthony O’Donnell (R-29C Calvert and St. Mary’s), Haven Shoemaker (R-Carroll 5), Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore and Harford 7), David Vogt (R-Frederick and Carroll 4)
Senators: Robert Cassilly (R-Harford 34), Wayne Norman (R-Harford and Cecil 35), Justin Ready (R-Carroll County 5), Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore 6)
Today, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear multiple bills regarding firearms. While the media ignores the massive pro-life march, the handful of “Moms Against Guns” had every major press group covering their anti-Second Amendment attacks. This is done to create a false consensus against the Second Amendment and is a highly unethical practice.
In the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery 18) will testify on SB 761, a bill that would mandate the unionization of contract farmers without any input from those farmers, the agriculture community, or the rural legislators it affects. Sen Madaleno proposed another anti-agricultural bill earlier this year as part of his war on rural Maryland.
The Fiscal Note analysis of the legislation is telling: “Spending mandates contractors may seek to relocate production to states that do not have the bill’s requirements or may shift any increased costs to contract producers through reduced compensation.” Senator Madaleno and others in the Senate Anti-Agriculture bloc want these contracts to leave the state.
Also on the war against Maryland agriculture, the Senate passed SB 198, a bill that would severely harm the agricultural industry, even though strong scientific consensus says the ban would not help. 32 Senators knowingly passed a bill that has no merits simply because they want to destroy farming in Maryland.
At the end of the week, we will bring you further updates and an analysis of how the above pieces of legislation were handled in committee.
(Conflict of Interest Disclosure: I have participated in the Maryland March for Life for a very long time, and I have marched in an honor guard leading the march for many years, including this year)