On Monday and Tuesday, more than 1,500 Maine residents turned out to testify against a proposal backed by Democratic leaders that would legalize elective abortion up to the point a child is born for any reason.
Sen. Anne Carney (D-Cumberland) and Rep. Matt Moonen (R-Portland), the chairs of the Judiciary Committee, front-loaded the 65 or so pro-abortion testimonies, giving three minutes speaking time to supporters of LD 1619.
Carney and Moonen also gave preferential treatment to abortion advocates, allowing Planned Parenthood lobbyists and Democratic sponsors of the bill three minutes to talk, while some elected officials who opposed the bill and representatives from the Christian Civic League of Maine were only allowed one minute to talk.
“This purely discriminatory move disenfranchised hundreds of Maine citizens trying to participate in the democratic process,” Rep. Laurel Libby (R-Auburn) said in a press release.
Libby said changing the rules mid-hearing was a “shameful failure on the part of the Judiciary Committee.”
Libby, the founder of Speak Up for Life, said pro-life testimony would have stretched the hearing to more than 30 hours.
“Mainers from over 250 towns traveled to Augusta to testify against the bill to allow late term abortion, expressing the resounding opinion that LD 1619 is too extreme for Maine,” she said.
Although pro-lifers celebrated the turnout opposing the late-term abortion bill, the record-setting testimony is unlikely to have changed the minds of Democratic lawmakers.
Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion clinic operators in Maine, spent more than $350,000 in the last election cycle supporting Democratic candidates, including more than $95,000 supporting Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.
During the gubernatorial campaign, abortion was among the top issues, and Mills said on multiple occasions that she would not support or pursue changes to Maine’s abortion laws.
Since 1993, Maine’s abortion law has held that abortions after 24 weeks are only permissible in rare circumstances.
However, after the election, Mills changed her position, announcing in January that she would support LD 1619, a bill that, if passed, would make Maine’s abortion rules the most permissive in western civilization.
State House insiders believe Mills disguised her true position on abortion in order to win the election and likely planned all along to advance legislation favorable to the abortion industry, and several noted that Mills’ Chief of Staff Jeremy Kennedy previously worked as the Advocacy Director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
Testimonies throughout Monday and Tuesday revealed a sharp moral and ideological divide between supporters of unlimited abortion and the 1,500 pro-lifers who turned out to oppose LD 1619.
In his testimony supporting the bill, Attorney General Aaron Frey shocked those in attendance by commenting that unborn children don’t have any rights or legal protections until they are “out.”
“This is a woman making a decision about what to do with her body and what’s going on with her body,” Frey said.
“There isn’t a live child that’s been– that’s out at this point, that this decision is concerned with,” he said.