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ACLU Maine Appealing Court Ruling On MaineCare Abortion Coverage Ban

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is appealing a court decision against their lawsuit that would require MaineCare to cover abortions.

Filed on behalf of three providers, the lawsuit challenges the legality of the state insurance program that restricts coverage for abortions.

“Maine has an established public policy in statute that says women get to make decisions for themselves about whether to continue a pregnancy,” says Zach Heiden, legal director for the ACLU.

In its written decision, the Cumberland County Superior Court said federal law takes precedence, which prohibits the use of federal dollars to cover abortions except in extreme circumstances.

Heiden says MaineCare, the state version of Medicaid, violates women’s rights by only covering abortions in those extreme circumstances.

“Even though it will cover almost all other pregnancy-related care. We think that’s discriminatory, and we think that’s against the law,” he says.

The ACLU is appealing the case to the state Supreme Judicial Court.