Maine Legalizes Abortions by People Who Aren't Doctors

Maine governor signs abortion bill allowing non-doctors to perform procedure

Maine governor signs abortion bill allowing non-doctors to perform procedure

Upon signing the bill which Gov. Mills introduced herself, the former state Attorney General argued that by allowing "qualified and licensed medical professionals to perform abortions will ensure that ME women, especially those in rural areas, are able to access critical reproductive health care services when and where they need them from qualified providers they know and trust".

Janet Mills signed legislation yesterday that allows physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide abortions for women.

It will be enacted 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, which is expected in mid-June.

But the law is facing criticism for expanding the list of professionals who could perform an abortion. Critics say it could potentially make the procedure less safe.

Only doctors can perform abortions in most states, for the safety of the woman. Stacey Guerin, also of Maine. Those measures include laws seeking to ban abortions early into a pregnancy - as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected - and a particularly controversial law in Alabama that would punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison.

ME currently has three publicly accessed abortion centers in Augusta, Portland, and Bangor but supporters of this law hope that more will now open thanks to the new pool of employees able to perform the abortions.

She added that the legislation is more about politics as there's no evidence that women in ME are experiencing problems in getting abortion services due to proximity.

In most states, only physicians perform abortions, but ME is now set to allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to provide abortion medication and perform in-clinic abortions.

Fox News reported ME will be the second state after California with a law allowing non-doctors to perform in-clinic abortions, according to Maine's Office of Policy and Legal Analysis.

Maine's new law expanding abortion providers adds to the current contention surrounding abortion laws and procedures in the US.

"This legislation affirms what is already allowable in Vermont - protecting reproductive rights and ensuring those decisions remain between a woman and her health care provider", he said in a statement.