Maine Lawsuit Aims to Expand Abortion Access
This week, a judge in Maine heard arguments in a lawsuit that could expand abortion access in the state and set a precedent for others.
When it comes to reproductive rights in the United States, the pro-choice community is used to bad news. There is a near daily onslaught of court cases aimed at restricting access, with the ultimate goal of overturning Roe V. Wade. But we do have things to celebrate!
This week, a judge in Maine heard arguments in a lawsuit that could expand abortion access in the state and set a precedent for others. Currently, abortions in Maine can only be performed by doctors, a restriction that 41 other states also have. If the law is found to be unconstitutional, other medical professionals such as nurse practitioners would be able to perform the safe medical procedure. Because Maine has a significant rural population, most women must travel to one of three cities to procure an abortion. Removing this restriction would allow women to have an abortion closer to home, reducing the cost and investment of an abortion in Maine.
Maine’s governor, Janet Mills, supports expanded abortion access and has introduced a bill giving physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives the right to perform abortions. But many activists are hoping for a positive result to the lawsuit.
“A court ruling would make this clear that this is a right, not just a public policy subject to the whims of the Legislature that could be repealed,” said attorney Julia Kaye, who argued the case Monday for the national American Civil Liberties Union.
If you want more information about how to access abortion in your state - or about self-managed abortion - visit us at abortionpillinfo.org