AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Governor Janet Mills introduced a bill on Thursday that she said will improve access to reproductive health care for women across Maine.
The bill, sponsored by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, would allow a physician assistant or an advanced practice registered nurse to perform abortions.
LD 1261 "An Act to Authorize Certain Health Care Professionals to Perform Abortions" would allow a physician assistant, an advanced practice registered nurse, allopathic or osteopathic physician licensed as such in Maine to perform abortions.
Mills said current Maine law bans Advanced Practice Clinicians, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, from providing abortion services while citing no medical justification.
Due to the law, Mills said there are only three publicly accessible health centers in Maine where a woman can get an in-clinic abortion.
As a result, Mills said women in rural areas of the state are sometimes required to travel hours for reproductive care, despite the presence of qualified, experienced practitioners in their own communities.