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Maine committee backs Gov. Mills’ plan to significantly liberalize state abortion laws

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A committee of the Maine Legislature signed off Friday on a proposal from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills that would give the state one of the least restrictive abortion laws in the country.

Maine’s current laws allow abortions until a fetus becomes viable, which is generally considered to be about 24 weeks. The governor’s proposal would change state law to allow abortion after fetal viability if it’s deemed necessary by a physician.

MAINE POISED TO ALLOW ABORTIONS AFTER FETAL VIABILITY WITH MEDICAL REFERRAL

The Democrats control the state Legislature and its committees, and used that advantage to pass the bill through a judiciary committee. The measure could make it to the Maine House of Representatives as soon as next week.

Janet Mills

Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a Jan. 17 press conference. A legislative committee in the state has approved Mills’ proposal to significantly loosen abortion restrictions, which includes allowing some to be performed past the point of fetal viability. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The measure is likely to pass the full Maine Legislature, but has encountered heavy resistance from conservative lawmakers and residents, and Christian groups in the state.

HUNDREDS OF PRO-LIFERS DOMINATE MARATHON ALL-NIGHT HEARING ON MAINE’S NO-LIMITS ABORTION LAW

The Maine Medical Association testified in support of the law change, and said in its testimony that “it is extremely unlikely that the bill as written will result in terminations of late pregnancies that are viable.”

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The potential law change in Maine is playing out against a broader backdrop of efforts to expand or restriction abortion access in states around the country.



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