AUGUSTA (WGME) – Gov. Janet Mills has signed a bill into law that will make it easier for Maine women to get an abortion.
The bill was introduced by the governor herself earlier this year.
Currently, only qualified doctors can perform abortions. Once the new law takes effect, physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners will also be allowed to perform abortions.
Supporters said this law is important for women in rural areas who need more access to abortions.
Opponents have spoken out saying the bill would cause an increase in the number of abortions in Maine.
As it stands, more than 20 states, including Vermont and New Hampshire, allow qualified non-doctors to perform certain types of abortion.
Officials from Planned Parenthood said the new law allows patients to go to a trusted care provider instead of an unfamiliar clinic.
“I think it is an amazing gesture of support that Mainers support Mainers, and Mainers support reproductive justice and personal agency and bodily autonomy,” said nurse practitioner Alison Bates.
The Maine Right to Life Committee responded to the bill saying: “This sets a dangerous precedent for the health of Maine women. Access to abortion, unfortunately, is not a problem in Maine.”