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Maine amendment to enshrine abortion-on-demand fails in state legislature

by | Apr 12, 2024

Abortion is currently legal up to birth in Maine, but the amendment would have effectively prevented future legislatures from changing that.

By Calvin Freiburger

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to amend the Maine Constitution to establish a “right” to abortion failed to gain the necessary votes in the state legislature, effectively killing the effort for the time being.

On the Maine legislature’s website, LD 227 appears only as a brief “Concept Draft” with no actual contents beyond a note that it would “would enact provisions of law regarding health care in the State.” But as first revealed in March by the Christian Civic League of Maine and Maine Right to Life, a proposed draft amendment would fill in the details, reportedly from Democrat state Rep. Anne Perry and state Sen. Donna Bailey, to affirm a “legal right” to so-called “gender-affirming health care services and reproductive health care services” and much more.

The resulting amendment would authorize civil suits for “for damages, punitive damages, equitable relief, injunctive relief or any other appropriate relief against another person who, whether or not acting under color of law, files or prosecutes” litigation or enforcement action meant to “deter, prevent, sanction or punish any person engaging in legally protected health care activity or aiding and assisting legally protected health care” so long as “any act or omission involved (…) occurs or is initiated in this State.”

State law enforcement would be forbidden from cooperating in any way – court orders, subpoenas, summons, information sharing, or any other expenditure of public resources – with law enforcement from other states attempting to pursue such cases unless required by federal law or other state laws. Additionally, health care providers or insurers could not take any “adverse action” against patients or practitioners on the basis of abortion or gender “services,” including disciplinary action, refusal to provide service, or refusal to insure.

Abortion is legal in Maine to the moment of birth for virtually any reason due to legislation signed last year by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, but if successful the amendment would have made it all-but impossible for a future legislature to change the status quo.

The Associated Press reported that the Maine House voted 75-65 Tuesday in favor of the measure, falling short of the two-thirds super-majority necessary to approve constitutional amendments.

“Last night’s vote was infuriating and shameful, but it will galvanize Mainers from all corners of the state,” complained Lisa Margulies of the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. “Now we know where every elected official in the House stands on reproductive rights.”

Fourteen states currently ban all or most abortions, with available data so far indicating that now-enforceable pro-life laws could effectively wipe out an estimated 200,000 abortions a year. But the abortion lobby is working feverishly to cancel out those deterrent effects by deregulated interstate distribution of abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travelconstructing new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors, enshrining abortion “rights” in state constitutions.

Three abortion-related ballot measures are still slated for the November 2024 ballot, and efforts for more than a dozen others are either pending before state legislatures or attempting to collect enough signatures to make the ballot.

Editor’s note: This appeared at LifeSite News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: State Legislation