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Maine’s New Abortion Law Will Allow Non-Doctors to Perform Procedure

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The governor of Maine signed a invoice on Monday that can develop entry to abortions within the state by permitting well being care professionals who should not physicians to carry out the process.

Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, stated in an announcement that the measure “will ensure that Maine women, especially those in rural areas, are able to access critical reproductive health care services when and where they need them from qualified providers they know and trust.”

The regulation will go into impact in September, and it’ll enable nurse practitioners, doctor assistants and different certified medical professionals to manage abortions involving oral medication or in-clinic procedures.

The governor’s workplace stated solely three cities in Maine — Augusta, Bangor and Portland — have publicly accessible well being care facilities the place a affected person can get an aspiration abortion, which is a process that entails suction. The new regulation might make it simpler for extra rural clinics to supply the identical service.

Most states require that aspiration abortions be carried out by a doctor, however a handful additionally enable different medical professionals to manage the process. Those embody California, Colorado and a few of Maine’s neighbors within the Northeast.

“States across the country, including Vermont and New Hampshire, have already eliminated this outdated restriction on abortion care,” Sara Gideon, a Democrat who sponsored the invoice because the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, stated in an announcement. “This law will allow women to receive the care they need from a provider they trust and eliminate the financial and logistical hurdles they face today.”

Many Republicans within the state, together with former Gov. Paul LePage, have resisted increasing abortion rights. So have organizations together with the Christian Civic League of Maine.

Carroll Conley, the group’s govt director, stated he was involved whether or not nurses and different well being care professionals would obtain enough coaching to manage abortions by September; whether or not the regulation would enable them to rigorously object to performing the process; and whether or not sufferers may be endangered if they’d medical issues throughout an abortion at a extra distant clinic.

“Obviously, for transparency’s sake, we would oppose it anyway on philosophical grounds,” Mr. Conley added.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the invoice, pointed to peer-reviewed analysis displaying that nurse practitioners and different non-physician practitioners have supplied secure abortion care.

“Maine’s leaders have stepped up to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families in our great state,” stated Oamshri Amarasingham, the advocacy director for the A.C.L.U. of Maine.

Women in city areas are inclined to have simpler entry to reproductive well being care. A New York Times evaluation final month discovered that greater than 11 million ladies within the United States dwell greater than an hour’s drive from an abortion facility.

Mr. Conley of the Christian Civic League stated there was an absence of proof that ladies in Maine had been having bother accessing abortion companies due to proximity, so the laws appeared extra political than sensible.

Since 2011, there was a surge in legal guidelines that limit abortion entry in lots of states. Some focused suppliers by establishing tighter laws for clinics, whereas others focused sufferers by mandating ready durations or limiting insurance coverage protection.

In latest months, lawmakers in states together with Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio have supported more and more restrictive abortion legal guidelines, organising potential Supreme Court battles that would reshape abortion entry throughout the nation.

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