Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed an amendment to Maine’s law on July 19 that will make it easier for women to get late-term abortions in the state.
Prior to the amendment, the law stipulated that abortions could only be performed after an unborn child was viable if the abortion was necessary to “preserve the life or health of the mother.”
Despite the fact that the law was already quite permissive, Mills apparently thought that it needed to be even easier for women to obtain abortions. The law now states that “after viability, an abortion may be performed only when it is necessary in the professional judgment of a physician.” Of course, the word “necessary” is left undefined.
The Act to Improve Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Laws (LD 1619) was introduced by Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross — the same woman who called for storming the state’s Department of Education offices for its alleged failure to educate Maine’s citizens in African-American culture and history.
“What is extreme is forcing a woman to become dangerously ill from her pregnancy in order to access abortion care. What is extreme is forcing a woman to give birth to a child who is going to immediately die. What is extreme is forcing a woman to leave her state to seek health care,” Talbot Ross said before a 19-hour session in Maine’s legislature in May. “This legislation is compassionate. It is bound by science and best medical practices, and it recognizes abortion as health care.”
Not only did the law make it easier for physicians to justify killing unborn children, but, according to National Catholic Register, it also “remove[d] certain penalties for non-licensed physicians who perform abortions,” making it easier for self-styled physicians to make the decision to kill a woman’s unborn child.
The law was the source of intense debates in the legislature. Left-wing politicians assured their colleagues that the law merely applied to instances of fetal abnormalities (which still ignores the fact that, abnormal or not, a viable unborn child is still a child). Meanwhile, conservatives argued that the law was too vague — especially when Democrats refused to approve an amendment to the law explicitly limiting late-term abortions to fetal abnormalities.
While Maine’s abortion laws become more extreme, younger generations in the state seem to be increasingly more conservative on the issue than are their older counterparts. In 2014, the Pew Research Center found that just 12 percent of younger millennials and 9 percent of older millennials supported legalizing abortion in “all/most cases,” Meanwhile, 27 percent of Gen X and 35 percent of baby boomers took the same stance.
Bishop Robert Deeley from the Catholic Diocese of Portland released a statement on June 23, calling the law “immoral.”
“This is not a fetus. It is an unborn child with everything ready for birth,” the bishop wrote. “This is not an issue between a woman and her medical provider. It is a woman, her medical provider, and an unborn child. This measure eliminates any protections for children who cannot speak for themselves but will suffer because of it.”
Aubrey Gulick is a recent graduate from Hillsdale College and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute Fellow at The American Spectator. When she isn’t writing, Aubrey enjoys long runs, solving rock climbs, and rattling windows with the 32-foot pipes on the organ. Follow her on Twitter @AubGulick.