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Maine House 0pposes Contentious Abortion Bill

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine House of Representatives has rejected a contentious bill that seeks to require abortion clinics to be licensed by the state.

The Democratic-led House voted 84-65 against the bill on Wednesday. It heads to the Republican-controlled Senate.

The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to write operational and safety standards for the facilities.

Opponents say the measure is unnecessary because physicians that perform abortions are already licensed by the state. They say the bill is designed to close clinics and block access to abortions.

But supporters say the goal is to ensure the procedures are done safely. The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson, says it doesn't make sense that licenses are required for things like hair salons and tattoo parlors but not abortion clinics.