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Maine bill pitches abortions by nurses, physician assistants

PORTLAND, Maine — Democratic Gov. Janet Mills wants to expand access to abortions by allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to perform procedures in Maine.

Mills said Thursday her bill would expand access to abortions, particularly for women in rural areas. Democrats won the Legislature in November and promised to expand women’s health access.

Current state law prevents advanced practice clinicians such as physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses from providing abortion care. Mills said such limitations lack medical justification and leave Maine with three publicly accessible health centres providing in-clinic abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the ACLU of Maine are challenging those restrictions in ongoing federal litigation and praised Mills’ bill.

Republican Rep. Beth O’Connor called Mills’ legislation and another bill to allow Medicaid-funded abortions “extremist.”

The Associated Press