Maine’s Democratic governor signed an abortion bill into law on Monday that allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform the procedure.
Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill expanding abortion access which she introduced herself. It will formally go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, around September.
But the law is facing criticism for expanding the list of professionals who could perform an abortion. Critics say it could potentially make the procedure less safe.
“Expanding who is allowed to perform an abortion does not expand the safety of the procedure,” Republican state Sen. Stacey Guerin has said.
“Expanding who is allowed to perform an abortion does not expand the safety of the procedure.”
— Republican state Sen. Stacey Guerin
Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, also echoed the safety concerns and told the New York Times that it’s unclear whether nurses and other health care professionals will receive enough training to administer abortion by the time the law takes effect.
She added that the legislation is more about politics as there’s no evidence that women in Maine are experiencing problems in getting abortion services due to proximity.
In most states, only physicians perform abortions, but Maine is now set to allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to provide abortion medication and perform in-clinic abortions.