LD 1197 would force healthcare providers to discuss legal concepts with their patients, sowing confusion and compelling speech. This bill would compel providers to share government-sanctioned speech and add more time and hurdles to the process of accessing abortion care.
This legislation is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of standard medical practices and how medical consent works. Patients are already able to change their minds at any point before any medical procedure begins. Abortion, as a medical procedure, is no different from other procedures that a patient may decide not to undertake.
Second, LD 1197 would compel the Maine Human Rights Commission and medical providers to discuss legal concepts such as discrimination with their patients. While we support everyone in Maine knowing their rights, this bill approaches a line of asking medical providers to provide legal advice. The unauthorized practice of law is a complicated concept that fouls up lawyers themselves, let alone medical providers who have not gone to law school. Discussions between patients and their healthcare providers should center on their healthcare options, not their legal ones.