The Maine Legislature officially passed a bill on Thursday that would allow abortions at any time during pregnancy if deemed “necessary” by a doctor, The Associated Press reported.
The Maine Senate passed the bill 20-11, and sent it to the governor’s desk. Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature, and Democrat Gov. Janet Mills introduced the bill.
“Once signed into law by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, as expected, Maine will have one of the least restrictive abortion laws in the country,” according to the report.
The current state law limits abortions after an unborn baby could survive outside the womb, which is around 24 weeks, but has an exception for the life of the mother.
“This bill changes the standard for when an abortion may be performed after viability to when a licensed physician determines that it is necessary instead of when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother,” the bill summary clarifies.
Thousands of pro-life advocates showed up at the state Capitol in May to protest the bill, according to Life News,
“During one committee meeting, nearly 700 testified against the bill while only 65 testified in favor. Maine Right to Life, Catholic leaders and other pro-life organizations also urged lawmakers to reject the legislation, pointing to polls that consistently show strong public opposition to late-term abortions,” according to the pro-life news website.
In contrast, pro-abortion groups celebrated the bill’s passage. Elayne Richard of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR) told the Portland Press Herald that her group is “proud of the majority of our lawmakers for expressing their trust in pregnant Mainers, and for standing up to the intimidation and stigma of those who support forced pregnancy and birth.”
Maine state Senate Democrats blocked a proposed amendment to the bill in late June that would have placed a four-year moratorium on the trafficking of fetal remains from late-term abortions.
Senator Eric Brakey’s full testimony in opposition to Governor Mills’ radical full-term abortion bill.
“I implore every member of this body… to please search their minds, search their hearts and search their souls to weigh the consequences of what we are about to do.” pic.twitter.com/Mc6T8ghsul
— The Maine Wire (@TheMaineWire) June 27, 2023
“If Gov. Mills’ late-term abortion bill becomes law, as now seems certain, elective late-term abortions on healthy babies will be allowed for the first time in Maine, raising a question currently unaddressed by Maine’s laws: What happens to the viable baby after an abortion clinic has ended his or her life and induced a stillbirth?” the Maine Wire reported, adding that the bill does not contain any language regulating how the bodies of aborted babies are to be disposed of.
Read the full article here