The Maine Legislature gave remaining approval Thursday to a proposal to broaden entry to abortions later in being pregnant, sending the invoice to the governor for her signature.
As soon as signed into legislation by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, as anticipated, Maine can have one of many least restrictive abortion legal guidelines within the nation.
Present state legislation bans abortions after a fetus turns into viable exterior the womb, at roughly 24 weeks, however permits an exception if the affected person’s life is in danger. The invoice would enable abortions at any time if deemed medically essential by a physician.
The Senate enacted the invoice 20-11 on Thursday, sending it to the governor’s desk.
Democrats management each chambers of the Maine Legislature however that didn’t stop emotional debate over the proposal, with opponents recurrently showing within the State Home to make their voices heard.
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Some opponents of the invoice mentioned it goes too far, permitting a serious growth of abortions and placing an excessive amount of belief in docs to say when the process is suitable. Supporters mentioned the invoice would apply to sufferers solely in uncommon cases by which sufferers study later in being pregnant that the fetus gained’t survive.
Republican Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn mentioned Thursday it was obscure why different lawmakers didn’t embody language requiring docs to make a deadly prognosis, and he expressed concern in regards to the invoice’s language being “used as a pretext for one thing a lot greater.”
He didn’t make clear additional, and urged the invoice’s supporters to vote it down.
However Democratic Sen. Anne Carney of Cape Elizabeth mentioned the invoice was about displaying compassion for individuals in a tough circumstances.
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“There’s no pretext,” Carney mentioned. “What the invoice is absolutely about is making certain that ladies and households get probably the most compassionate well being care they’ll — and probably the most correct, medically essential well being care inside the medical requirements of care, in these tragic circumstances.”
At present, solely six different states go away the choice to get an abortion to docs and their sufferers, with out restrictions. They’re Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont, plus Washington, D.C.
Abortions later in being pregnant are uncommon. Nationally, about 1% occur after 21 weeks, in response to U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention tallies, which shouldn’t have full knowledge from each state.
Mills mentioned throughout her reelection marketing campaign final 12 months that she was content material with the prevailing abortion legislation however since then, she modified her thoughts.
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In January, the governor was joined by legislative leaders in unveiling a proposal to broaden abortion entry in response to the story of a Maine lady who needed to journey to Colorado for an abortion after discovering 32 weeks into her being pregnant that the fetus wouldn’t survive exterior the womb.