About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Criminal Law
(a)   For purposes of a prosecution under this title, “viable” has the meaning stated in § 20–209 of the Health – General Article.
(b)   Except as provided in subsections (d) through (f) of this section, a prosecution may be instituted for murder or manslaughter of a viable fetus.
(c)   A person prosecuted for murder or manslaughter as provided in subsection (b) of this section must have:
(1)   intended to cause the death of the viable fetus;
(2)   intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus; or
(3)   wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person’s actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus.
(d)   Nothing in this section applies to or infringes on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy as stated in § 20–209 of the Health – General Article.
(e)   Nothing in this section subjects a physician or other licensed medical professional to liability for fetal death that occurs in the course of administering lawful medical care.
(f)   Nothing in this section applies to an act or failure to act of a pregnant woman with regard to her own fetus.
(g)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer personhood or any rights on the fetus.