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HomeNewsMaine House votes to enact bill that expands access to abortions

Maine House votes to enact bill that expands access to abortions

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The Maine Home voted Tuesday night time to enact a invoice to broaden entry to abortions, placing the proposal one last vote away from going to the governor for her signature.

The Senate, which supported the invoice in an preliminary vote Tuesday, should forged a last vote on the laws that’d give the state one of many least restrictive abortion legal guidelines within the nation.

The Home vote, 73-69, capped an emotional day that included demonstrators in opposition to the invoice holding indicators, singing hymns and chanting “kill the invoice!” within the State Home hallways.

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Present state regulation bans abortions after a fetus turns into viable exterior the womb, at roughly 24 weeks, however permits an exception if a mom’s life is in danger. The invoice would permit later abortions if deemed medically vital by a health care provider.

Opponents mentioned the proposal goes too far.

“This invoice is so excessive that the very considered it being enacted crushes my soul,” mentioned Rep. Tracy Quint, R-Hodgdon, one among about 30 lawmakers to talk on the Home flooring.

Rep. Katrina J. Smith, R-Palmero, who grew to become the mom of a wholesome daughter after being instructed her child would not stay, warned of the results of placing “blind belief in medical doctors.”

Demonstrators gather in Maine statehouse

Demonstrators against a invoice to broaden abortion entry collect within the halls of the Maine State Home on June 27, 2023, in Augusta, Maine.  (AP Picture/David Sharp)

Supporters, in the meantime, mentioned the change was vital to provide moms a selection in heartbreakingly uncommon circumstances when deadly anomalies are found later in a being pregnant.

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“How will we legislate the unimaginable?” Sen. Jill Dusan, D-Portland, mentioned Tuesday on the Senate flooring. “We accomplish that by ensuring that those that face the unimaginable have the liberty they should make the choice that’s proper for them.”

However Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, mentioned modifications had been pointless to the present regulation that he co-sponsored years in the past and was signed into regulation by then-Republican Gov. John McKernan. “This invoice represents a elementary shift from the uneasy consensus we’ve had in Maine for the previous 30 years,” he mentioned.

The votes simply got here days after the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court docket resolution that concluded girls don’t have a constitutional proper to an abortion, returning authority to the states.

The 21-13 Senate vote and the later vote within the Home lacked the Eleventh-hour drama when Democrats hustled to make sure assist earlier than the invoice was narrowly accredited late final week within the Home, passing 74-72 after the chamber took an hourslong break and the vote was held open for about 45 minutes.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills mentioned throughout her reelection marketing campaign that she was content material with the present abortion regulation, however she unveiled a proposal to broaden abortion entry in January in response to the case of a girl who needed to journey to Colorado for an abortion after discovering 32 weeks into her being pregnant that her child wouldn’t survive exterior the womb.

Opponents feared that the governor’s invoice would permit abortions to turn into rampant and that wholesome infants that had been viable exterior the womb can be aborted.

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Bishop Robert Deeley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland known as the invoice “immoral” and mentioned it went in opposition to the desires of lots of of Mainers who testified in opposition to it at a 19-hour public listening to. He accused supporters of the invoice of bowing to “whispers of particular pursuits.”

Home Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, sponsor of the governor’s invoice, was focused over the weekend with anti-abortion flyers calling her a “child killer” and chalk messages left exterior her Portland dwelling.

Portland police launched an investigation and the Christian Civic League of Maine condemned the ways.

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