With new law, it’s easier than ever to get a late-term abortion in Maine

unborn baby Credit: Ivon19 / Wikipedia (public domain) (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Democrat governor of Maine Janet Mills signed a law Wednesday removing one of the only major restrictions on abortion, which was already legal in certain cases up to the moment right before birth. 

Before the passage of the new legislation, Maine’s law said: “After viability an abortion may be performed only when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother in the professional judgment of a physician.”

Now, the law states: “After viability, an abortion may be performed only when it is necessary in the professional judgment of a physician.”

The word “necessary” is not defined in the bill.

Maine now has some of the most extreme abortion laws in the nation.

The law also removes certain penalties for non-licensed physicians who perform abortions, a spokesperson for Maine Right to Life told CNA. 

Following the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives last month, Bishop Robert Deeley of the Diocese of Portland — Maine’s only diocese — said that it was a “sad day.”

“This is immoral. This is not a fetus. It is an unborn child with everything ready for birth. That is not an issue between a woman and her medical provider. It is a woman, her medical provider, and an unborn child. This measure eliminates any protections for children who cannot speak for themselves but will suffer because of it,” he said in the June 23 statement.

The House voted to advance the bill June 27 by a narrow margin of 73-69. The Senate concurred in early July.

Joel Stetkis, the chairman of the Maine GOP, said in a statement following the governor’s signing of the bill that it is “truly a dark day for our beloved state of Maine.”

“This new law is more permissive than almost every other state and country on the planet, and it’s a reflection of how far left Mills and her fellow Democrats have taken this state,” he said.

“Folks should know that this abortion-til-birth bill faced bipartisan opposition in the Legislature, but it was still rammed through by Mills and ultra-far-left-wingers,” he added.

During hearings on the bill in May, Fox News reported that almost 700 pro-life advocates attended to testify against the bill.

The hearing lasted nearly 20 hours, according to the outlet. 

Mills, who won the state’s 2022 gubernatorial race, said during her campaign: “I have no plans to change the current law” on abortion, the Maine Wire reported

In her statement following the passage of the new bill, the governor announced four other pro-abortion bills that were signed into law. 

Those bills are LD 263, An Act to Ensure Access to Family Planning Services; LD 616, An Act to Protect Health Care Professionals Providing Reproductive Health Care Services; LD 935, An Act to Remove Barriers to Abortion Coverage in Private Insurance; and LD 1343, An Act to Protect the Reproductive Freedom of Maine People by Preempting the Field of Abortion Regulation.

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