New law allows NPs, PAs to perform abortions in Maine

Maine passed a law June 10 permitting nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-physicians to perform abortions in the state, according to The New York Times.

 

The law will take effect in September and could make abortion services more accessible to rural women. "This law will allow women to receive the care they need from a provider they trust and eliminate the financial and logistical hurdles they face today," Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement cited by The New York Times.

Numerous Maine Republicans, as well as organizations such as the Christian Civic League of Maine, have opposed the expansion of abortion services in the state. The CCL's executive director, Carroll Conley, said he is concerned whether non-physician practitioners can receive sufficient training to perform abortions by September, among other concerns.

In contrast, the American Civil Liberties Union supported the bill and cited research showing that non-physicians can perform safe abortion care.

More than 11 million American women live at least an hour car ride away from abortion services, according to a New York Times analysis last month. Only a few states allow non-physicians to perform abortions, including California and Colorado.

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