AUGUSTA, Maine (LifeSiteNews) — Maine Democrats have announced a slate of new proposals to expand legal abortion in the Pine Tree State, including giving abortionists discretion to decide what is “medically necessary” after fetal viability.
While the text of the proposed legislation is not yet available, a press release from the office of Gov. Janet Mills says the bill to have gotten the most attention so far will “make clear that the decision about an abortion later in a pregnancy will be made by qualified medical professionals in conjunction with their patient,” as well as “eliminates language in current law that subjects medical providers who perform abortions to criminal penalties under certain circumstances,” and update abortion data collection “to reduce stigma, protect patient privacy, and protect reproductive health care providers.”
Mills claimed the change is necessitated by stories like that of Maine resident Dana Peirce, who says that in 2019 her wanted second child was discovered to have a rare skeletal condition incompatible with life, but had to go to Colorado for an abortion because he was 32 weeks along. Current Maine law says that “[a]fter viability an abortion may be performed only when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
House Democrats also proposed bills to “strengthen protections” for those who provide abortions to visitors from out of state, “prevent local municipalities from restricting access” to abortion, and “requir[e] insurance companies to cover abortion care without cost sharing.”
In response, state House Republicans called the governor’s plans “extreme” and a violation of her October 2022 claim while running for reelection that she did not “support removing the current viability restrictions in Maine’s law.”
“Isn’t it fitting, right, that we as pro-life folks within the Legislature are here talking about how to save the lives of children that the state is going to take responsibility for, and is failing, and resulting in dead children, and they’re upstairs talking about how to expand abortion and kill more fetuses,” said Republican state Sen. Trey Stewart. “Apparently, that’s their priority. Ours is focused on child welfare and making sure that the children we’re responsible for are going to be able to grow up.”
“Don’t let anyone fool you here,” said Karen Vachon, executive director of Maine Right to Life. “This is NOT Women’s Reproductive Healthcare. This is NOT women empowerment. The Mills administration is finessing legal murder that not only kills an innocent unborn child, it morally stains our entire society.”
Pro-lifers generally raise two objections to allowing abortion in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities: that allowing the direct, intentional taking of human life for any reason other than to save another life crosses a grave ethical line, regardless of how emotionally sympathetic the case may be; and that giving abortionists discretion to decide what is “medically necessary” would lead to many illegal abortions being committed under false pretenses.