We’ve all seen state legislatures across the country fielding unreasonable attacks on the right to abortion and attempts to limit access to abortion. Well, now it’s our turn. Next week, Maine’s legislature will begin its review of two bills that would limit access to abortion services:
LD 83, An Act to Strengthen the Consent Laws for Abortions Performed on Minors and Incapacitated Persons, would repeal Maine’s longstanding, successful, Adult Involvement Law, and require minors seeking an abortion to bring a legal parent to the clinic with them to consent to the procedure. We all agree that for most teens, involving a parent or caring adult in decisions around unintended pregnancy is best. But we also know that there are times when teens just can’t talk to their families, whether out of fear for their safety, because they don’t have a supportive parent to go to, or a host of other reasons. That’s why for 25 years, Maine law has encouraged family involvement in this decision while providing every young woman with the guidance and support necessary to consider and evaluate all of the options available to her. LD 83 would put teens’ health and safety at risk.
LD 1312, An Act to License Outpatient Surgical Abortion Facilities, would arbitrarily increase state regulation and scrutiny of clinics that provide abortion services. This increased scrutiny wouldn’t apply to physicians who provide abortion services as part of their private practice; it would only apply to the three not-for-profit, publicly-available providers in Maine, Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and Maine Family Planning. We know that abortion is a remarkably common, remarkably safe procedure, with fewer than 1% of patients experiencing any complication. In those rare cases when complications do occur, they are similar to those that may occur from miscarriage, which physicians treat every day. We also know that physicians who provide abortions, whether in private practice or in a clinic, are licensed by the state and are subject to strict oversight by Maine’s Board of Medicine. There is simply no reason to suggest this increased scrutiny of clinics other than an intent to make it harder to provide abortion care and, as we have seen in other states, an attempt to close clinics.
These bills will not improve the health and safety of Maine women. Instead, they will make it harder for women and teens to access safe, professional abortion care.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO DEFEAT THESE ATTACKS ON THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OF MAINERS.
Come to the legislature’s public hearing on these bills on Wednesday, May 13th, at 1:00, and tell the Judiciary Committee why these bills are bad for Maine women.
If you are able to come and are thinking about testifying, let us know and we’ll give you more information!
Contact the members of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote No on LD 83 and LD 1312.
Call your Representative and your Senator and tell them to oppose LD 83 and LD 1312.
Write a letter to your local paper to inform your neighbors about these terrible bills. We can help! Let us know if you’d like more information about writing a letter to the editor!
Together, we can continue Maine’s long tradition of respecting that government has no place in these personal, private decisions.
Now is the time to take action!
~ Kate Brogan, VP for Public Affairs
p.s. If you ARE able to join us on Wednesday, please wear pink to show your support!