A marathon session of the State Legislature’s Judiciary Committee stretched from Monday morning to Tuesday morning as more than 650 Mainers turned out to testify against several proposals, including a bill that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth.
Less than 70 pro-abortion activists turned out to speak in favor of the bill, including several representatives from abortion clinics who stand to benefit from an increased number of abortions in Maine.
Although lawmakers have debated precisely how Gov. Janet Mills’ full-term abortion bill (LD 1619) would affect abortion legality in Maine, Attorney General Aaron Frey’s remarks at the hearing clarified that abortion would be legalized up to the moment a child is no longer in the womb if lawmakers approve the measure.
“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.
Those present at the State House to testify on the bill said an audible gasp could be heard from those who were following Frey’s remarks.
Frey’s comments were reminiscent of controversial remarks by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, which appeared to endorse post-birth or born-alive abortions, typically understood as infanticide.
Mills’ strident push for unlimited abortion comes despite her position against such measures while campaigning for re-election against former Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
Mills said numerous times on the campaign trail that she would not support any changes to Maine’s abortion rules.
Maine reporters who have access to the governor have been unable or unwilling to get her to explain why she shifted so suddenly on the most controversial topic of the campaign.
Supporters of LD 1619, including Frey, insist that the medical opinion of a doctor — which is the only thing a woman will need to get an abortion under the new regime — provides a safeguard and limitation on abortion.
However, pro-lifers fear that medical providers affiliated Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics in Maine will effectively serve as a rubber stamp for limitless abortion-on-demand.
Despite the turnout on Monday and Tuesday of Mainers opposed to the easing of Maine’s abortion restrictions, the bills appear destined for passage.
If that happens, Maine’s abortion laws will be the most radical in the United States and the rest of the free world.