Health

Maine Will Allow Non-Doctors To Perform Abortions

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill Monday permitting non-doctors to perform abortions in Maine.

The law will allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions, according to a press release from Mills’ office.

“Allowing qualified and licensed medical professionals to perform abortions 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,” Mills, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“These health care professionals are trained in family planning, counseling, and abortion procedures, the overwhelming majority of which are completed without complications,” Mills added.

Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon sponsored the bill, “An Act To Authorize Certain Health Care Professionals To Perform Abortions.” It is set to go into effect in September, according to The New York Times.

Maine is the second state, following California, to allow non-doctors to perform in-clinic abortions, according to Maine’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, The Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen praised the legislation and Mills’ actions in a Tuesday tweet. (RELATED: Pinterest Labels Live Action Content As Pornography — Then Bans The Pro-Life Group From Pinterest)

“I’m grateful to our champions like Maine’s @GovJanetMills — who signed a bill yesterday to expand access to abortion care services by allowing qualified professionals, like nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, to provide abortion care!” Wen said in a tweet.

Conservatives say the move is not a victory for women or health care.

“Expanding who is allowed to perform an abortion does not expand the safety of the procedure,” Republican state Sen. Stacey Guerin of Maine said according to the New York Post.

“Planned Parenthood claims to champion women’s health care, but here’s their president praising Maine for legislation that allows *non-doctors* to perform abortions,” National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis said in a tweet. “How is this a victory for women?”

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