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Action Alert: Legislative Update on Abortion and Parental Rights Related Bills - 4-26-23

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Action Alert – April 26th, 2023

There are several bills pertaining to abortions and parental rights scheduled for public hearing before the Judiciary Committee on May 1 and May 5.

Make your views known and your voices heard! Support your legislators!

LDs scheduled for Public Hearing on Monday, May 1 at noon

LD 1619 – An Act to Improve Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Laws - Governor’s Bill, most Democrats co-sponsoring - This bill eliminates the requirement to use the United States Standard Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy and replace it with a report that contains no identifying information; changes the standard for when an abortion may be performed after viability to when a dr. determines that it is “necessary”, instead of “necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother”, states that abortions must be performed by licensed physicians, but removes the penalty for performing an abortion without having a license and for performing an abortion after viability when it was not necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.

LD 776 – Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Establish the Right to Bodily Autonomy. Question on ballot for citizen referendum:

"Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that every person has a natural, inherent and inalienable right to bodily autonomy?"

LD 1343 – An Act to Protect the Reproductive Freedom of Maine People by Preempting the Field of Abortion Regulation – Democrat bill – states that the entire field of legislation concerning abortion is occupied and preempted by the State

LDs scheduled for Public Hearing on Friday, May 5 at 9:00

LD 494 - An Act to Conform State Funding to the Federal Hyde Amendment, Limiting Funding for Some Abortion Services. Current Maine law requires that abortion services that are not approved Medicaid services must be funded by the State. The so-called federal Hyde Amendment prohibits federal Medicaid funding for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. This bill repeals Title 22, 10 section 3196, removing the requirement that the department provide abortion services to MaineCare members and removing the requirement that the State pay when the abortion services are not covered by Medicaid.

LD 771 – An Act to Protect a Woman’s right to withdraw consent for an abortion – woman or pregnant minor may withdraw consent to abortion any time before the death of the fetus

LD 1197 – An Act to Prevent Coerced Abortion – Rep Arata & Sen Keim – This bill amends the laws governing informed consent to abortion by requiring a health care professional, prior to performing an abortion, to provide to a pregnant minor or pregnant patient orally and in writing, in a language and manner that will be understood by the patient:

1. Notice that the minor or patient has the right to withdraw consent for an abortion at 10 any time before the performance of the abortion and, if so, to receive a refund of any payments made to the health care professional for the performance of the abortion;

2. Notice that the law prohibits criminal threatening of any person, including a person who refuses to have an abortion;

3. Contact information for providers of resources for victims of domestic violence, including the telephone number of at least one domestic violence hotline and one sexual assault hotline; an offer to make referrals to law enforcement agencies and domestic violence and sexual assault support organizations; and an offer to call a law enforcement agency if the patient or minor feels that the patient or the minor will be unsafe if the patient 19 or the minor refuses to have an abortion; and

4. Information regarding the Maine Human Rights Act's protections against discrimination in employment, education and housing on the basis of pregnancy or familial status and, upon request, provide educational materials prepared by the Maine Human Rights Commission regarding these protections.

LD 1249 - An Act to Protect the Quality of Care Provided via Telehealth by Prohibiting Physicians from Prescribing Abortion-inducing Drugs or Devices Through Telehealth or Other Electronic Communication. Republican-sponsored bill.

LD 1614 - An Act to Require an Ultrasound and Certain Counseling Before an Abortion - Rep Griffin of Levant - removes requirement that alternatives to abortion are given only at the woman’s request, requires ultrasound and that it be should to the pregnant woman, and she can look away if she wants to. 48 hour waiting period between informed consent and abortion unless there is a medical emergency

LD’s Scheduled for Public Hearing Friday, May 5 at 1:00

LD 1809 - An Act to Prohibit Health Care Services Without Parental Consent - Rep Adams of Lebanon - must have parental consent for treatment for SUD, psy counseling or social work services, family planning services, an abortion, etc

LD 1410 – An Act to Hold School Employees Civilly Liable for Failure to Notify Parents Regarding Medical Issues of Students Under 18 – Rep Hymes of Wado, several R’s. This bill prohibits public and private schools from withholding from a minor student's parent or encouraging a minor student to withhold from the student's parent medical information related to the student or conversations with the student related to medical issues. The prohibition does not apply in an emergency. A parent of a minor student who was the subject of a violation may bring a civil action to recover the party's actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, any combination of those or any other appropriate relief. A prevailing parent is entitled to an award of attorney's fees and costs.

To submit testimony, go to https://www.mainelegislature.org/testimony and

  1. Choose public hearing

  2. Choose Judiciary Committee

  3. Choose the date and time

  4. Select the LD number

  5. Follow the rest of the prompts

To find out more about these bills, go to Maine State Legislature

To find out more about how to navigate the Legislative website, research and follow bills and submit testimony, come to our Legislative Zoom Tutorial Thursday, April 27. Learn more and RSVP here: https://www.ccrcme.com/events/legislative-tutorial-on-zoom-2023-04-27-18-30.

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