Maine Governor Mills Announces Legislation to Expand Abortion Access

The Maine Writer

Maine's current abortion law bans abortion after a fetus becomes viable outside the womb, which is around 24 weeks. Governor Janet Mills announced legislation today that will allow abortion access after 24 weeks if deemed necessary by a medical provider. The legislation is sponsored by Maine House Speaker Talbot Ross (Democrat) and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (Democrat).

Other Democrat proposals discussed include helping healthcare providers by strengthening their protections, updating data collection policies, and preventing Maine towns from restricting abortions. The legislation will remove language from the current abortion law that subjects healthcare providers who perform abortions to criminal penalties under certain circumstances. Under this new legislation, abortion will be regulated like other safe, legal medical procedures.

Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot said, “Abortion care is medical care, yet across the country, fundamental rights and freedoms are being taken away or restricted at an alarming rate. But the opposite is happening here in Maine. We are serving as a light that inspires others around the country by protecting those who need it and showing exactly how to fight back. And this work is far from over. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that reproductive healthcare and family planning are affordable and accessible in every part of the state.”

Maine Senate President Troy Jackson said, “The right to decide if and when to start a family is fundamental to who we are as Americans. It’s a deeply personal decision that does not belong to the government or a politically motivated Supreme Court; it belongs to Mainers. But I know it is not enough for lawmakers to say we have Mainers’ backs; actions speak louder than words. It’s why I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in support of a slate of legislation to strengthen reproductive health care laws and defend Mainers’ rights.”

Maine House Republicans issued a statement on the legislation, saying they oppose the extreme expansion of the abortion law and that it runs counter to wide support for the current law. They are encouraging widespread participation in the hearing process so the voices of all Maine people are heard before extreme changes are made to the current law.

Governor Mills also said she will be lighting a candle Sunday, January 22, in the window of the Blaine House because it would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and she encourages people across Maine to join her. Mills says the candle is to shine a light on her continued commitment to protecting reproductive health care in the state of Maine.

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