© 2024 Maine Public

Bangor Studio/Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Lewiston Studio
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Portland Studio
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Sen. Angus King cosponsors bill to protect medication abortion

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks at Acadia National Park, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Winter Harbor, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks at Acadia National Park, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Winter Harbor, Maine.

Independent Maine Sen. Angus King is co-sponsoring a new bill that seeks to protect access to medication abortion.

The proposal, backed by Congressional Democrats, would codify current FDA guidelines into law that allow people to obtain the medications at pharmacies, by mail, and through telehealth visits.

The bill comes in response to efforts to restrict access to medication abortions, including a court case in Texas. Plaintiffs in the case allege that the Food and Drug Administration erred when it approved one of the drugs used in medication abortions 22 years ago and are seeking an injunction to prohibit its use.

Medication abortion is increasingly the method of choice across the country and in Maine.

George Hill of Maine Family Planning says preserving access is especially important in Maine.

"We ourselves at Maine Family Planning operate 18 sites in very rural settings, and making medication abortion available in those settings is an incredible improvement in access for folks who are dealing transportation, child care, work related issues," Hill says.

Maine's other U.S. senator, Republican Susan Collins, is not a co-sponsor of the bill, but reintroduced a different, bipartisan bill today that seeks to codify access to abortion in federal law.

Hill says the proposal, which was first introduced in August, is well-intentioned but weak, and would allow many exceptions.

Updated: February 9, 2023 at 3:43 PM EST
This post has been updated with additional information and reaction from Maine Family Planning.