State Watch

Maine House votes to expand number of medical professions allowed to perform abortions

The Maine House on Tuesday passed a bill to expand the types of medical professionals who can perform abortions in the state.

If it becomes law, the bill would allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to perform abortion procedures if they receive proper training, according to the Associated Press.

Maine would become the second state following California to allow medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortion operations.

Under Maine's bill, advanced clinicians who are not doctor could perform in-clinic surgical operations and offer medication abortions with the proper training.

"I think we can agree that a woman should be able to seek medical care, including an abortion, from a provider she trusts and with whom she has an established relationship," state Sen. and bill sponsor Denise Tepler (D) said, according to the Portland Press Herald

Maine's legislation expanding access to abortion for the state's residents comes as several states such as Georgia and Ohio passed laws banning abortions after a fetus' heartbeat is detected, which takes place generally six weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

Alabama passed earlier this month the strictest abortion law in the county, virtually banning the procedure from taking place in the state.

Maine's bill, which now heads to the Democrat-controlled state Senate, already has the support of Gov. Janet Mills (D).