Abortion care is an essential part of reproductive healthcare throughout a pregnancy, and the state should never have the authority to force a person to remain pregnant against their will.
This new law will protect and expand abortion access by allowing people to seek care when medically necessary – without political interference. LD 1619 removes Maine’s black-and-white cutoff for receiving abortion care, leaving these important decisions to patients and their doctors. The cutoff doesn’t just hurt Mainers in theory. Before LD 1619, Mainers who needed abortion care later in pregnancy were forced to leave the state to receive this essential care, including Dana, from Yarmouth. LD 1619 also removes criminal penalties for people who help others self-manage abortion with medication.
LD 1619 amended the Reproductive Privacy Act in three ways:
- Removed ban on abortions later in pregnancy
- Removed criminal penalties for medical providers who offer abortion care later in pregnancy and support people who help someone self-manage abortion in Maine
- Removed antiquated and invasive data collection requirements for abortion patients and providers
LD 1619 helps ensure medical providers can offer the care their patients need, when they need it, throughout a pregnancy. Even before the Dobbs ruling, Maine families were forced to travel out of state for abortion care because of medically unnecessary restrictions under past law.
This law will help people like Dana, from Yarmouth, who learned later in her pregnancy of rare fetal anomaly, spinal dysplasia. This condition resulted in broken bones inside her womb and, if she had given birth, her child would have had difficulty breathing on his own if he could have even survived delivery. Because Maine’s law at the time banned abortion later in pregnancy, Dana and her husband had to spend tens of thousands of dollars and travel to Colorado to get the care their family needed.
We can do better in Maine, and LD 1619 is a step toward ensuring more Mainers are not forced to bear physical, emotional, psychological, and financial burdens simply to access medical care they need.
LD 1619, An Act to Improve Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Laws, establishes trust in medical providers and their patients, decriminalizes the medical procedure of abortion later in pregnancy, and regulates abortion like any other safe, legal medical procedure. It also addresses antiquated data collection policies related to abortion care in Maine, protecting patient privacy and healthcare providers who perform abortion care.