Law Ends Ban on Qualified Practitioners Providing Abortion Care
Augusta – Gov. Janet Mills today signed a bill into law that will end the outdated, medically unjustifiable ban on qualified nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians providing abortion care in Maine.
The Maine Medical Association supported the bill, and health organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the World Health Organization, and the American Public Health Association support allowing nurse practitioners and other APCs to provide abortion care. They have been doing so in other states – including New Hampshire and Vermont – for decades.
Data, including from the CDC, show abortion has a 99 percent safety record, meaning fewer than one percent of abortion patients have complications. Peer-reviewed medical literature, including a recent four-year study of more than 11,000 abortion patients published in the American Journal of Public Health, uniformly confirms that nurse practitioners and other APCs can safely and effectively provide abortion care.
Currently, nurse practitioners and other APCs in Maine provide a wide range of health services of equal or greater complexity than abortion.
The following quotes can be attributed as noted:
Oamshri Amarasingham, Advocacy Director, ACLU of Maine
"As other states pass laws outlawing abortion, Maine’s leaders have stepped up to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families in our great state. This law will help eliminate a significant barrier to abortion access in Maine and ensure that each of us can make decisions about our health and our future without political interference."
Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
"Quite simply, voters are done with lawmakers using our health, our bodies, and our lives for political games. As more and more states pass laws stripping away access to reproductive health care, Maine has passed a law to increase access to abortion care. This is what leadership looks like."
Julie Jenkins, BSN, MSN, SAFE-A, WHNP-BC, Belfast Family Planning:
“This common sense law aligns with the vast body of medical evidence confirming the safety of APC provision of abortion care, and will make a huge impact in the lives of Maine women — which is why I’ve been fighting for this policy change for years. Whether a patient decides to become pregnant, to continue a pregnancy, or to seek abortion care, she should have access to quality care from a provider in her community. Today we are closer to making that goal a reality for Maine women.”
Andrea Irwin, Executive Director, Mabel Wadsworth Center
“This law truly reflects Maine values to support people who need abortion care, rather than putting up roadblocks or trying to punish them. It sends a strong message: policies that impact our health should be based on medical evidence and guided by the experiences of people who need abortion care rather than politicians.”