Maine lawmakers eye proposals to expand abortion access

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Maine lawmakers are preparing to take up several proposals in the coming weeks to expand abortion access, including one by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills to allow women in Maine to get abortions later in pregnancy if deemed necessary by a medical provider.

Current state law bans abortions after a fetus becomes viable outside the womb, at roughly 24 weeks. The governor’s bill would allow later abortions with a doctor’s approval.

Other bills would prevent municipalities from restricting abortions; strengthen protections for those who treat out-of-staters traveling to Maine for an abortion; and address affordability of abortions through private insurance.

Several hundred anti-abortion activists traveled to the State House Tuesday to make their views known. The event’s organizer, Maine Right to Life, said that it’s important for people to raise their voices in Augusta because that’s where abortion laws are determined now that U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion. Abortions already have been banned in 13 states.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England tweeted that Mainers showed they support abortion access by electing ‘pro-reproductive rights champions to protect our reproductive rights.’

There are several Republican-backed proposals that would reduce abortion access but those face long odds with Democrats controlling both chambers.

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