Lawyers for an abortion doctor charged with murder under Maryland’s fetal homicide law filed court papers Friday calling the statute illegal and saying that prosecutors are using the law to effectively ban the constitutionally protected medical procedure in Cecil County.

The motion — the first detailed defense in the groundbreaking case — also calls the grand jury indictment filed against Dr. Nicola I. Riley, 46, “an attempt to intimidate” physicians into not performing abortions. Riley was ordered held on $300,000 bail.

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