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Maine lawmakers to consider measure to codify bodily autonomy next year

(Portland, MAINE) – On the heels of Ohio voters defeating an attempt to make it more difficult to pass constitutional amendments in that state, new polling shows 2 in 3 Americans would vote to enshrine the right to abortion in their state’s constitution.

The poll, from Navigator Research, also indicates strong opposition across party lines for criminalizing patients who seek abortion care and providers who care for them. LD 1619, passed this legislative session in Maine, removes criminal penalties attached to the state’s abortion laws. 
Despite the Republican Party’s attempts to rebrand their anti-abortion agenda, 64 percent of Americans believe GOP lawmakers will try to ban the medical procedure nationwide if Republicans gain control of Congress in the 2024 election, according to the poll. Anti-abortion lawmakers like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) have a history of failed attempts to ban abortion at the federal level, though state lawmakers have succeeded across the country in enacting total or near total bans on abortion in 21 states since the U.S. Supreme Court revoked federal protections for abortion in June 2022. 

Anti-abortion organizations have publicly announced their intent to support presidential candidates who campaign on a national 15-week ban, a policy that is not only harmful to patients but deeply unpopular with the American public.  

In Maine, voters turned out in record numbers in November to elect pro-reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot. And lawmakers responded by passing historic legislation that protects and expands access to abortion care in the Pine Tree state while defeating attempts by anti-abortion lawmakers in Augusta that would have restricted access. 

Maine lawmakers will consider a proposal next year that could enshrine the right to bodily autonomy in the state constitution, and that measure, sponsored by Sen. Eloise Vitelli (D- Sagadahoc), if passed would then be put to voters. Since Dobbs, voters in six states have affirmed support for abortion rights at the ballot box, and several states, including Florida, South Dakota, Ohio, Arizona, and Missouri are gearing up to enshrine similar protections.  

Statement from Nicole Clegg, Interim CEO, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England: 

"This data confirms what voters have communicated over and over at ballot boxes across the country: Americans support protecting and expanding access to abortion. Not only are bans harmful to patients, they are deeply unpopular. The Republican Party and extreme legislators continue to show disregard for medical science, patient needs and even public opinion among its own members. 

We are proud to have lawmakers here in Maine who listened to doctors, patients and their constituents during this past legislative session when they acted to expand access to abortion throughout pregnancy, to decriminalize abortion, and take steps to address affordability of care in our state.  

We look forward to the work ahead to build on the progress we’ve made and to ensure every Mainer can continue to receive abortion care they need, when they need it, no matter what.” 


Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. PPNNE has four health centers in Maine and sees more than 12,000 patients a year. 

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