Maine will soon have expanded access to abortion

Maine's governor signed a bill into law Wednesday expanding access to abortion in the state.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills signs a bill into law.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 19, 2023

Maine is the latest state to expand access to abortion, putting the decision in the hands of women and their doctors "not politicians or lawyers," the governor's office said.

Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill named "An Act to Improve Maine's Reproductive Privacy Laws" into law Wednesday, and it'll go into effect 90 days after the state legislature's work is complete, which could be next week.

The law will allow for an abortion at any point of pregnancy if deemed medically necessary by a doctor, making it one of the least restrictive abortion laws in the country.

It replaces Maine's current abortion law, which only allowed for abortions after 24 weeks to "preserve the health of the mother."

"Maine law should recognize that every pregnancy, like every woman, is different, and that politicians cannot and should not try to legislate the wide variety of difficult circumstances pregnant women face," Mills said. "Instead, we should recognize the complexity of pregnancy and, like every other health care procedure, take government out of the decision-making process and put the doctor and patient in charge."

Abortion-rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

Most in US don't support full abortion bans, even in states with them

About 60% of Americans believe Congress should pass a law promising legal access to abortion across the country.


The new law was inspired by Maine resident Dana Peirce, who said she had to pay $25,000 to travel across the country for an abortion after finding out her fetus had a deadly genetic mutation in her 32nd week of pregnancy.

Peirce joined Mills for the signing alongside other lawmakers and medical providers. The bill is also supported by Maine Medical Association and Maine Council of Churches, but opposition still stood, with critics saying it could increase post-viability abortions.

Though the bill was poised to pass the Democratic-controlled legislature, many other states have passed bills with opposite terms. Maine will be the seventh state to side with the doctor-patient decision, while a multitude of other states have recently banned abortions fully or after six weeks of pregnancy.