Medicine

Maine Legalizes Abortions by People Who Aren't Doctors

Maine Legalizes Abortions by People Who Aren't Doctors

"I'm grateful to our champions like Maine's @GovJanetMills - who signed a bill yesterday to expand access to abortion care services by allowing qualified professionals, like nurse practitioners and physician's assistants, to provide abortion care!"

Only doctors can perform abortions in most states, for the safety of the woman.

ME passed a law June 10 permitting nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-physicians to perform abortions in the state, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, signed a bill Monday passed by state lawmakers in May that states abortion is a "fundamental right" and also protects the right to contraception, sterilization and family planning. The law will take effect in ME 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

Gov. Janet Mills delivers her State of the Budget address to the Legislature, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, at the State House in Augusta, Maine. Critics say allowing more people to do abortions could make it more risky. California expanded its authorization for abortion providers in 2013, with legislation saying nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants with training could perform abortions. Stacey Guerin has said.

Following court or agency rulings, almost two dozen others, including Vermont and New Hampshire, have also expanded their list of abortion medication providers.

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"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.

"Maine is defending the rights of women and taking a step toward equalizing access to care as other states are seeking to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate these services", the state governor said.

ME is on track to join California to become the second state with a law allowing non-doctors to perform abortions.

In contrast, the American Civil Liberties Union supported the bill and cited research showing that non-physicians can perform safe abortion care.

The law also came in the wake of lawsuits from advocacy groups and abortion clinic suing ME over its abortion provider restrictions and ban on state Medicaid funds for abortions.