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Tipsheet

Maine Now Allows Physician Assistants And Nurse Practitioners To Perform Abortions

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

As Democratic politicians continue to ditch their "safe, legal, and rare" motto in order to make abortion-on-demand a reality, the state of Maine has now expanded which healthcare employees can perform abortions. Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation yesterday that allows physician assistants and nurse practitioners to provide abortions for women. 

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Upon signing the bill which Gov. Mills introduced herself, the former state Attorney General argued that by 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."

But critics say that just because more people are legally allowed to perform the abortion does not mean that there are more safeguards in place for women in the case of extra complications such as hemorrhaging, which only trained doctors can handle. "Expanding who is allowed to perform an abortion does not expand the safety of the procedure," Republican Sen. Stacey Guerin previously argued while the bill was being considered. 

Other critics said the bill's justification, lack of access for women in rural areas, was not backed by any reliable data. As noted by Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the method of finding statistics behind abortion safety is weak at best. "'Finding any true statistics on complications of abortion (including death) is already virtually impossible because according to the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 'states and areas voluntarily report data to CDC for inclusion in its annual Abortion Surveillance Report. CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health prepares surveillance reports as data become available. There is no national requirement for data submission or reporting," the group notes.

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Maine currently has three publicly accessed abortion centers in Augusta, Portland, and Bangor but supporters of this law hope that more will now open thanks to the new pool of employees able to perform the abortions. The law will go into effect in September.

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