Maine Gov, House Speaker Propose Bill To Expand Access To Abortion

Mar 14, 2019

Gov. Janet Mills and Democratic Speaker of the House Sara Gideon have introduced a bill that would expand access to abortions in Maine.

The proposal would lift a ban on advance practice clinicians - such as nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives - from providing abortion care.

The executive director of Mabel Wadsworth Center in Bangor, Andrea Irwin, says allowing these clinicians to perform abortions would benefit women in rural areas of the state in particular.

"In Maine right now, there at only three publicly available abortion providers where you can get the full spectrum of abortion care in the first trimester," Irwin says.

Advance practice clinicians are allowed to perform abortions in other states.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine filed a federal lawsuit in 2017 challenging Maine's ban.  That suit is still pending.