Speak Up for Life, a pro-life organization run by Rep. Laurel Libby (R-Auburn), has decided today against pursuing a People’s Veto of LD 1619, Gov. Janet Mills’ controversial full-term abortion bill.
LD 1619 allows unborn babies to be aborted “after viability” if it is deemed “necessary in the professional judgment of a physician.” Previously, Maine law prohibited abortion after the point of viability except in cases where the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy.
After a contentious period of debate, the bill was approved by both chambers of the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mills earlier this summer.
Only six other states – including Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont – and Washington, D.C. have similar laws on books allowing doctors, without restriction, to authorize abortions at any point during a pregnancy.
In Maine, citizens can utilize “the initiative and referendum process to repeal a piece of legislation passed by the legislature.” When such processes are used in this manner, it is known as a People’s Veto.
In order to repeal a particular piece of legislation in this manner, a petition must be submitted within 90 days of the legislature’s adjournment.
According to the Maine State Constitution, such a petition must be signed by no “less than 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in the last gubernatorial election preceding the filing of such petition.” Currently, this figure is just shy of 68,000.
If certified, this would result in the law in question being “set aside until the issue can be voted on at the next election.”
There has been talk ever since LD 1619 passed in the legislature that pro-life groups in Maine, including Speak Up for Life and the Christian Civic League of Maine, would attempt to pursue a People’s Veto.
Speak Up for Life officially announced this morning that they would not be pursuing a People’s Veto.
Instead, the group says it will be channeling their time and money into supporting pro-life candidates in the next election cycle.