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Health

Hundreds Rally For Abortion Rights In Portland

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Fred Bever
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Maine Public
Ralliers in Portland on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people rallied for abortion rights in Portland’s Congress Square yesterday Tuesday evening.

Participants toggled between anger and celebration — anger over recent efforts to restrict abortion rights in other states, and celebration of recent wins here in Maine.

“We will not let them take over our bodies and our choices and our fundamental human rights. Abortion has been legal in all 50 states since 1973 and we are going to make sure it stays that way forever,” said Ariel Bernstein, a Portland midwife.

Portland resident Barbara Schnabel said she was hopeful that more and more young people would turn out across the nation to resist a wave of abortion restrictions being passed by state legislatures.

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Credit Fred Bever / Maine Public
/
Maine Public
Barbara and Walter Schnabel at a Portland abortion rights rally on Tuesday.

“I was lucky. When I had my abortion it was safe and Planned Parenthood existed,” she said. “I’m 70, so I don’t think these kids realize how fast it can go away. And they need to.”

In Augusta, meanwhile, the House of Representatives Tuesday gave initial approval to a measure that would allow nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives to provide medication and in-clinic abortions. Both the House and Senate have also passed a measure that would require private and government insurers to cover abortion services. Gov. Janet Mills is expected to sign that bill.

Correction: The Maine House passed a bill to allow nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives to provide medication and in-clinic abortions, not registered nurses.

Originally published 6:15 a.m. May 22, 2019