The Legislature will consider two abortion-related bills this session. Both are unnecessary and have a hidden agenda: to deny abortion access in Maine.

L.D. 83 would require physicians to obtain written permission from the legal parent or guardian of a minor before she can obtain an abortion. For 25 years, Maine has had a successful adult involvement law that works. The law allows minors to involve a trusted adult in their decision, never forces teens to disclose abuse, and ensures that those who are unable to involve a trusted adult receive counseling and support from a trained, licensed professional. While the vast majority of teens involve a parent in their decision, the current law allows a safe, reasonable alternative to those who can’t.

L.D. 1312 would impose additional regulations on nonprofit abortion clinics in Maine, but not physicians who perform abortions or similar procedures in private practice. Similar bills in other states have forced clinics to close, as they struggle to meet new requirements.

Current Maine regulations work. All abortion providers are licensed and subject to oversight by the Maine Board of Medicine — just like every other physician practicing in Maine. This proposal was submitted under the disguise of protecting the health and safety of patients, but that is not being threatened. Abortion clinics in Maine have complication rates less than 1 percent.

Neither of these bills has support from professional medical associations, civil rights groups or youth advocates. So whose agenda is this? Those who want to take away a woman’s right to access safe abortion services.

Liz Hays

Mount Vernon

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