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Reproductive Rights Group Highlights Maine's Expanded Abortion Access

So far this year, 12 states have enacted some type of abortion ban. (Charles Edward Miller/Flickr)
So far this year, 12 states have enacted some type of abortion ban. (Charles Edward Miller/Flickr)
July 5, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine – A mid-year report on abortion access in the United States puts the state-level divide on abortion policy front and center.

The Guttmacher Institute reports that legislatures across the South, Midwest and Plains states enacted 58 abortion restrictions, nearly half of which would ban most abortions.

The reproductive rights organization also highlights states such has Maine that have expanded access to abortion in the face of a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

Danielle Campoamor, an abortion rights advocate with the 1 in 3 Campaign, says Maine's legislature is setting an example for others.

"Maine's showing that states can do what the federal government, at least up until this point, isn't willing to do, which is require health insurance to provide that coverage," she states.

Maine lawmakers recently passed two abortion rights measures. One requires Medicaid and private insurance to cover the procedure. The other allows physician assistants and nurses with advanced training to perform abortions.

Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon sponsored the second bill. Last week, she announced she's challenging U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Gideon has already raised $1 million, and groups including NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily's List, a national political action committee that supports pro-choice Democratic women, have endorsed Gideon.

Benjamin Ray, senior director of campaign communications for Emily's List, says Mainers have responded well, not only to Gideon’s pro-choice record, but her ability to reach across the aisle when necessary.

"This is an exceptional amount of money for a Senate candidate to be able to put together in one week, and I think it's a real testament to the enthusiasm behind her candidacy," Ray states.

According to Gideon's campaign, her fundraising included 2,000 donations from Maine residents, and 97% of contributions were $100 or less.

Jenn Stanley, Public News Service - ME