Opponents of a proposal to liberalize Maryland's abortion funding rules delivered plastic models of a three-month-old fetus today to members of the General Assembly, provoking an outcry from pro-choice legislators.
"I'm appalled," said Del. Mary Boergers (D-Montgomery), an advocate of a proposal by Gov. Harry Hughes that would make it easier for poor women to obtain abortions at state expense. "It's trying to take a legal-rights issue and emotionalize it."
"Life-size" models of an 11- to 12-week-old fetus -- encased in a plastic bag -- were delivered to legislative offices yesterday by Barry Wood, 33, the pastor of the New Covenant Christian Community in College Park. "We're making a statement with our pro-life presence," said Wood, who promised to demonstrate against the proposal every Monday night for the remainder of the three-month legislative session.
Accompanying the model was a message from Wood telling legislators that "when they tell you that abortion is a matter just between a woman and her doctor, they're forgetting someone! Please don't forget the little ones when you make a decision on funding abortions with tax dollars. . . . "
Del. Thomas J. Mooney (D-Prince George's), an opponent of abortion, defended the incident, saying it "falls within their First Amendment rights."