STATEWIDE — The U.S Supreme Court has agreed to take up an abortion rights challenge related to Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy that had been previously struck down.
Here in Maine, six bills are being discussed by lawmakers that would impact reproductive health care for women.
An act to provide dignity for fetal remains requiring burial or cremation and five other bills related to abortion are in the works as lawmakers heard testimony from Mainers Tuesday.
“The decisions about a pregnancy are best left to the person and their medical provider. The government’s role is to protect this right and not restrict or interfere,” Nicole Clegg, senior VP of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of New England.
One of the more notable bills discussed Tuesday is an act to ensure women are informed of a pill that can reverse a chemically-induced abortion.
The pill has a 24-hour window, but it isn’t provided in northern Maine. The closest access to this pill is in portland and lawmakers want to make it readily accessible.
“If anything this bill is pro-choice legislation. It seeks to increase the choices available to women wrestling with this incredibly difficult decision,” said Sen. Trey Stewart, (R) – Aroostook.
“Have you ever made a decision in a moment of uncertainty and wish you had another chance to change your decision I know I have. The abortion pill reversal treatment gives a woman a second chance to reverse a decision that may have been made during a period of uncertainty, loneliness, and hopelessness,” said Rep. Abigail Griffin, (R) – Levant.
Passing this bill would make the reversal treatment available throughout the whole state.
Danielle Blair from the National Association of Social Workers said she wants facilities providing abortions to let women know their options.
“What I would say to people who find this morally reprehensible who don’t want to fund it is that ideology and politics have no place in reproductive health care. This is a necessary health care procedure for the women of Maine,” said Danielle Blair, a representative for the National Association of Social Workers.
“Everyone deserves healthcare, we all need health care and abortion is one of the things that people need sometimes,” said Patricia Smith, resident of Maine.
This bill will be discussed at a later point in the coming weeks during a work session, lawmakers will decide then if they will recommend the six bills to the full legislature.
To take a look at these bills you can go to the Maine State Legislature’s website.