ANNAPOLIS, JAN. 31 -- As the Maryland General Assembly renews its debate about abortion, a Prince George's County clinic is at the center of a related drive by antiabortion legislators to enact new regulations for such medical facilities.

Because Maryland has no laws specifically regulating clinics where abortions are performed, the legislators say they want the issue addressed along with a host of competing bills that would expand or restrict access to abortions in the state.

"It doesn't address the main issue, but it's something that needs to be done," said Sen. John A. Cade (R-Anne Arundel), a leader of the antiabortion faction in the General Assembly.

Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman (D-Baltimore), a leading abortion-rights legislator, countered that clinics where abortions are performed "need to be treated like any other free-standing health facility. All these reporting {proposals} and clinic regulations are a smokescreen and an attempt to restrict access to a legal medical procedure."

But Cade and Del. Timothy F. Maloney (D-Prince George's) point to the history of Hillview Women's Medical Surgical Center in Suitland. The Physicians Quality Assurance Board and the Maryland Attorney General's Office are investigating Hillview, asking about one young woman who died and another who became almost completely paralyzed as the result of abortion complications.

"This brings home the need for establishing standards," Cade said.

Responding to a lawsuit by the family of one of the women, owners of the clinic have denied allegations of inadequate care.

Bills introduced by Cade and Maloney would require such clinics to meet standards established by the National Abortion Federation, a professional membership association based in Washington that represents about 300 abortion providers, including nine in Maryland.

Some antiabortion organizations also have called for greater regulation and reporting of abortion. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene lists 22,500 abortions reported under voluntary guidelines in 1989. But James A. Miller, a spokesman for Human Life International, this week called for greater regulation and mandatory reporting of abortions in Maryland, saying that abortion-related deaths have been covered up.

Barbara Radford, executive director of the federation, said today that the federation's standards encompass training, equipment, counseling and the number and type of doctors who must be on hand when abortions are performed.

Radford said she is not aware of any state that has written the federation standards into law for clinics that provide abortions. However, she said, several Canadian provinces have used the standards generally for out-patient services.

"We consider our standards to be minimal, and in most cases we have no argument with states taking a look at them," Radford said. But she said it would be wrong to single out abortion clinics. "A state should look at out-patient services as a whole, not just abortion clinics," she said.

Opponents of adopting the standards say such action is unnecessary because doctors are licensed and answerable to the Physicians Quality Assurance Board.