Providers, Experts to Testify Against Anti-Abortion bills
For Immediate Release: Aug. 11, 2021 (Updated: May 18, 2021, 8:07 p.m.)
Public hearings begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow
Medical providers, experts, and reproductive health advocates will appear virtually today to oppose the slate of anti-abortion bills before the Judiciary Committee.
While the specific topics vary, all these bills are little more than a political tactic to shame people who need an abortion, discredit providers, and confuse the general public.
Despite polarizing rhetoric, voters are generally in agreement about abortion care. When asked what the experience should be like for someone who has decided to have an abortion, more than 3 in 4 voters say it should be as soon as possible, not judgmental, and without added burdens, and 96 percent say informed by medically accurate information.
Excerpts from testimony as prepared for delivery are below.
The committee will hear proposals to:
Require providers to give their patients dangerous and medically inaccurate information about so-called “abortion reversal” (LD 825 & LD 851)
Require medically unnecessary forced delays and procedures for abortion (LD 1229)
Mandate burial or cremation for fetal tissue following miscarriage or abortion (LD 1225)
Abbie Strout-Bentes, Director of Education and Community Engagement
“Mabel Wadsworth Center opposes any and all efforts to restrict reproductive freedom. We trust pregnant people to make the best decisions for themselves about their bodies and reproductive health. We know that an individual's ability to make their own decisions about when and whether to become a parent has a lasting impact on their life, their education, and their financial security. Politicians should not be interfering with our ability to make such an important decision.”
Leah Coplon, Program Director, Maine Family Planning
“Despite these blatantly political attempts to curtail the freedom of Mainers to make decisions about their own bodies, Maine Family Planning will continue to fight to ensure that all people in our state are provided with comprehensive, science-based information and will continue to promote reproductive freedom.”
Nicole Clegg, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
“From preventing people from using their health insurance for abortion care to mandating burial or cremation after a miscarriage or abortion and requiring providers to give their patients medically inaccurate information, these bills are all intended to shame and judge people who need an abortion. This is part of a broader strategy to push abortion out of reach, stigmatize the patients and providers, and confuse the public. Mainers aren’t falling for it. We don’t turn to politicians for advice about breast cancer screenings, prenatal care, or cancer treatments and politicians shouldn’t be involved in a patient’s personal medical decisions about their pregnancy.”
Meagan Sway, Policy Director, ACLU of Maine
“Abortion access is a constitutional right. These bills would chip away at abortion access, subjecting a routine medical procedure to unconstitutional government overreach. To improve the well-being of Maine families and Maine people, we need to strengthen healthcare, housing and poverty alleviation programs, not roll back a person's right to choose the best medical care for themselves.”
Jennifer Fox, Legislative Liaison, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!)
“We have been part of the struggle for safe abortions and reproductive rights for decades. We’ve fought bravely to expand access and freedom and reduce stigma and shame. It would be a tragedy to slide backward.”
Destie Hohman Sprague, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Lobby
“When policymakers consider intervening in the private medical decisions that should take place between pregnant people and their providers, virtually all restrictions and limitations disproportionately harm the same groups of people: marginalized women. Refusal to invest in the methods that reduce unwanted pregnancy, and to give people options to manage or end those pregnancies, constrains the lives and choices of those least able to weather those storms.”