It has been my experience that Maine people are fair-minded and reasonable. But they don’t like to be told what to do. And they certainly don’t like to be forced to live under any government rule that would obliterate long-standing law by forcing them to pay for a controversial product or service that they did not use, did not request, to which they objected, and that they could and would neither use, nor consume, nor choose, nor want.

So why is Maine’s Legislature introducing a bill that would force Mainers to pay for someone else’s elective procedure? Because it’s about abortion.

Maine’s abortion lobby is tone-deaf to the outrage of everyday people regarding New York’s recently approved radical abortion law, allowing abortions of babies who could live outside the womb, courtesy of the taxpayer. Long gone are the days of Bill Clinton advocating for abortions to be “safe, legal and rare.” The new abortion lobby is all about “Loud and proud: Abortion on demand without apology.”

Or you may recall when abortion was touted as being a “personal choice between a woman, her family and her doctor, with no government interference.” It appears Maine’s abortion lobby now wants to legislate a full-throttle government intervention with the introduction of L.D. 820, demanding that our tax dollars pay for elective abortions for women on MaineCare. They are also advocating to change private insurance law by demanding insurance policies that cover maternity services must now pay for elective abortions.

This bill would radicalize health care and the insurance industry and undermine any sense of fairness and freedom that Mainers now enjoy.

L.D. 820, titled “An Act to Prevent Discrimination in Public and Private Insurance Coverage for Pregnant Women in Maine,” is being brought forward by 80 legislators. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joyce McCreight of Harpswell. If enacted, it would be a form of financial-sounding political correctness, enveloped in the newly concocted rhetoric as a “non-discrimination” fairness bill.

For decades, Maine has followed the federal guidelines regarding taxpayer-funded abortions, commonly referred to as the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal dollars being used for abortion, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. If enacted, L.D. 820 would overturn this reasonable, longstanding Maine law.

A majority of states (two-thirds of them), regardless of their stance on abortion, follow the Hyde Amendment. Additionally, a Marist poll conducted in January indicates that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. No taxpayer or insurance premium holder should be forced, bullied or intimidated into paying for anyone else’s elective procedure. Pregnancy is not a disease, illness or disorder. And remember: Abortion clinics and advocates can always raise funds from private donors, and provide free abortions, if they so choose.

Let’s not change Maine insurance laws by equating killing with caring. Health care should be life-affirming, not life-ending. Consider this: Body enhancements are legal and also elective procedures. Why not change long-standing Maine law to force any insurer not currently covering body enhancements to provide such coverage for anyone wanting it? And while you’re at it, why not also legislate to force taxpayer dollars to pay for body enhancements for low-income women on MaineCare? Is it discriminatory to deny this coverage?

I would hope our state leaders would spend more time and resources on saving lives rather than bringing forth radical bills that would end more lives. Maine is one of only two states in our nation in which the number of deaths is greater than the number of births. Let’s curb the extreme abortion lobby’s proposed legislation. Just because something is legal and an elective procedure should never be synonymous with unfettered access to other people’s money.

A public hearing on this bill is scheduled for March 27. Contact your Maine state representatives and senators and ask them to vote “no” on L.D. 820. Maine people deserve laws that enhance life, not laws that mandate funding to eliminate our most valuable resource.

Teresa McCann-Tumidajski is executive director of the Maine Right to Life Committee in Auburn.


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