Governor Janet Mills today signed a bill to improve access to critical reproductive health care for women across Maine. The bill, offered by Governor Mills and sponsored by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, will allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions in addition to physicians. As Attorney General, Governor Mills introduced a similar bill during the last legislative session.
“Allowing qualified and licensed medical professionals to perform abortions will ensure that Maine 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. These health care professionals are trained in family planning, counseling, and abortion procedures, the overwhelming majority of which are completed without complications,”said Governor Mills. “By signing this bill into law, Maine is defending the rights of women and taking a step towards equalizing access to care as other states are seeking to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate these services.”
“States across the country, including Vermont and New Hampshire, have already eliminated this outdated restriction on abortion care,” said Speaker Gideon. “This law will allow women to receive the care they need from a provider they trust and eliminate the financial and logistical hurdles they face today.”
LD 1261 "An Act To Authorize Certain Health Care Professionals To Perform Abortions" allows a physician assistant, an advanced practice registered nurse, allopathic or osteopathic physician licensed as such in Maine to perform abortions. Current Maine law bans Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs), including Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants from providing abortion care while citing no medical justification. As a result, women in rural areas of the state can be required to travel hours for reproductive care, despite the presence of qualified, experienced practitioners in their own communities.
Seven other states – New Hampshire, Vermont, Alaska, California, Colorado, New York and Oregon – already permit nurse practitioners and APCs to perform abortions. Twenty other states allow APCs to provide abortion care in some capacity.
Numerous health organizations, including the World Health Organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association support allowing advanced practice clinicians to perform abortion services.
Governor Mills has also signed the following into law:
- LD 96 "An Act To Require Disclosure at the Sale or Transfer whether Real Estate Has Been Used in the Manufacture of Methamphetamine"
- LD 150 "An Act To Improve Attendance at Public Elementary Schools"
- LD 494 "An Act To Update the Family Planning Statutes"
- LD 614 "An Act To Provide Purchase Rebates for Battery Electric Vehicles"
- LD 676 "An Act To Simplify Maine's Lobster Licensing System"
- LD 854 "An Act To Improve Tax Incentives for Broadband Service"
- LD 1090 "An Act To Update the Criminal Animal Welfare Laws"
- LD 1155 "An Act To Protect Patients and the Prudent Layperson Standard"
- LD 1168 "Resolve, To Improve Maine's Response to Childhood Trauma"(Emergency)
- LD 1189 "An Act To Make Allocations from Maine Turnpike Authority Funds for the Maine Turnpike Authority for the Calendar Year Ending December 31, 2020"
- LD 1217 "An Act To Clarify the Oversight of the Family Development Account Program"
- LD 1237 "An Act To Simplify Municipal Collective Bargaining by Removing the 120-Day Notice Required Prior to Certain Negotiations"
- LD 1240 “An Act To Provide Career and Technical Training Options for Electricians"
- LD 1262 "An Act To Allow Funds from the Federal E-Rate Program To Be Applied to Maine Preschool Programs"
- LD 1266 "An Act To Create Transportation Corridor Districts for the Purpose of Funding Transportation and Transit Services"
- LD 1273 "An Act To Ensure Funding for Certain Essential Functions of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program"
- LD 1353 "An Act To Establish Transparency in Primary Health Care Spending"
- LD 1371 "An Act To Ensure Nondiscriminatory Treatment of Public, Educational and Governmental Access Channels by Cable System Operators"
- LD 1411 "An Act Regarding the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act"
- LD 1414 "An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning Penalties for Violations of the Freedom of Access Act"
- LD 1459 "An Act To Expand Application of the Maine Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act of 1973 to Harvesters and Haulers of Forest Products"
- LD 1534 "An Act To Amend Maine Fireworks Laws To Include Flame Effects"
- LD 1541 "An Act To Establish "Ballad of the 20th Maine" as the Official State Ballad"
- LD 1559 "An Act To Require the Public Utilities Commission To Open an Investigation Whenever It Initiates a Management Audit"
- LD 1579 "An Act To Allow Municipalities To Stock Ponds in Their Areas with Fish"
- LD 1603 "An Act To Improve Cell Phone Service in Underserved Areas by Installing Wireless Base Stations at State-owned Facilities"
- LD 1652 "An Act To Make Technical Changes to the Taxation of Marijuana"(Emergency)
- LD 1712 "An Act To Amend and Clarify the Maine Uniform Securities Act and To Make a Technical Correction in the Law Concerning Financial Planners"
- LD 1725 "An Act To Create a Minimum Age To Hold a Limited-purpose Aquaculture License" (Emergency)
- LD 1744 "An Act To Update References to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 Contained in the Maine Revised Statutes" (Emergency)
- LD 1840 "Resolve, To Continue until August 3, 2019 Limited-period Positions Expiring in June 2019"(Emergency)