Telemedicine to expand access to abortions in Maine

AP News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 1:28 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The operator of one of Maine's three abortion clinics plans to expand access by offering abortion pills without the need for in-office consultation with a doctor.

Augusta-based Maine Family Planning said it intends to allow patients to visit one of 16 regional planning clinics, where they'll consult via audio-visual technology with a physician. One of the medications to induce abortion would be given at the clinic, and the second could be taken at home.

It says the process that's applicable only to early-term abortions will provide easier access for people who would have to drive long distances to clinics in Portland, Augusta and Bangor.

The organization says Maine would become one of three states providing so-called chemical or medication abortions via telemedicine. The others are Iowa and Minnesota.