The Maine Women’s Lobby told supporters in an email Monday that LD 1619, a bill that would legalize full-term abortion, is “in the bag.”
Despite more than 1,500 people turning out last week to testify against the proposal, most political observers would have to agree with the sentiment.
Democratic leaders in the legislature, Gov. Janet Mills, and more than half of rank-and-file lawmakers have signaled support for the bill.
The bill would erase the 24-week viability threshold that has governed abortion in Maine for nearly 30 years.
Gov. Mills has thrown her enthusiastic support behind the bill despite vowing multiple times during her re-election campaign that she would not support or seek changes to Maine’s abortion rules.
If it passes, late-term abortion will be legalized in Maine for any reason and at any time.
All that will be required is for a pregnant woman to get sign-off from a doctor, a physician assistant, or an advanced registered nurse.
What would that look like?
On Friday, the Maine Wire reportedly exclusively on what such an arrangement looked like in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at an abortion clinic staffed by Dr. Shannon Carr, Southwestern Women’s Options.
Carr, who is now a practicing OB/GYN in Maine, has appeared at campaign events with Gov. Mills, testified in support of LD 1619, and was invited by the governor to a press availability with the governor in the cabinet room last Monday.
In 2017, Carr authorized and participated in a late-term abortion on a 23-year-old women, Keisha M. Atkins, who died as a result of the abortion.
Carr was named in a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit filed by Atkins’ family.
The clinic where Carr worked and the University of New Mexico Hospital eventually settled in 2022 with Atkins’ family for $1.26 million.
At the time, Albuquerque had become a destination for so-called “abortion tourism,” with woman seeking late-term abortions coming to New Mexico to undergo procedures that doctors could not or would not perform in their home states.
If Maine’s abortion rules become the most permissive in the entire country, as would be the case under LD 1619, then expect to see tourists coming to the state for more than lobsters rolls and bucolic vistas.
For abortion providers operating in Maine, the change could mean big business.
In the case of Carr’s botched abortion on Atkins, the abortion clinic billed Medicaid for $10,000 for its role in terminating her pregnancy.
Carr’s abortion clinic, at the time, also had an arrangement whereby it provided baby parts left over from late-term abortions to researchers at University of New Mexico, though it’s unclear whether any money changed hands in that arrangement.