You can make a difference in the fight against the expansion of abortion

By Sen. Trey Stewart

STATE HOUSE – This is Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart from Presque Isle.

During the 2022 elections, we heard from Democrat leaders that they were content with abortion law in Maine the way it was. Then January rolled around and we were surprised to learn they were no longer content with abortion law in Maine – they wanted just a narrow expansion to address specific instances of tragic fetal disease and debilitation.

Now we are in April and once again, the goal posts have moved. The Governor has finally released her much anticipated proposal and we have discovered that the changes aren’t narrow at all as we were led to believe. The Governor’s bill, LD 1619[i], is the most significant expansion of abortion I have witnessed in my lifetime.

If this bill passes, abortion in Maine will be legal at any point prior to the birth of the baby; and the procedure can be provided by anyone. This change makes us even more liberal than New York and California, and rivals policies in communist nations like China and North Korea.[ii] 

Abortion in Maine is already available on demand, anytime without a medical reason until a baby reaches viability, or about 24 weeks. And there are exemptions, broadly interpreted by Maine’s Attorney General that would allow abortions even later if the life or health of the mother is at risk, or if there is a fatal fetal diagnosis.

That’s right – Maine’s law is already expansive. It already allows for the termination of babies up to the point of viability with no questions asked, and the Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature think that’s not far enough. She thinks our law should protect the right to terminate the life of a baby that could survive on its own outside the womb or even be delivered naturally by the mother.

Think about that for a minute. We aren’t talking about clumps of tissue at that point, but fully-developed babies that are being killed when they could be born — and for any reason, including one as simple as the parents changed their mind and now are wanting to have a boy instead of a girl.

Maine Democrats have always framed the issue of terminating a pregnancy into two categories– a person must be either pro-life or pro-choice. I recognize that for a lot of Maine people, this can be a hard decision. However, it’s a false choice for a lot of Mainers that don’t view the issue as black and white. If asked if they support killing an unborn baby that is 20 weeks old, you can bet those “pro-choice” stats plummet in a hurry.

In fact, while it’s true that a majority of Mainers identify as “pro-choice” generally, when you go one step further with those people, over 60% of them agree with some type of reasonable restriction. The Democrats in Augusta are unfairly characterizing the issue by stating that to be “pro-choice” MUST mean that you think any reasonable restriction on abortion is a bad idea.

So, what’s really happening here? I’m down in Augusta three or four days per week this time of year, often surrounded by liberal non-profits and activists who are paid big money to push their radical agendas in the name of “women’s health” and “reproductive rights.” I have a problem with the entire premise.

First the definition of healthcare reads “efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals.”[iii] Terminating life due to sickness, disease or any other reason is the opposite of healthcare. They aren’t advocating for “women’s health.”

Second, Planned Parenthood isn’t an impoverished “non-profit” or charitable activist organization helping people in need. They are big business; and their business is terminating the lives of the unborn. They understand how politics work and they know that to win in the statehouse, they need to spend big money on lobbyists and campaign contributions – and they did just that in 2022, spending millions in Maine to elect “pro-choice” legislators and to essentially buy policies like LD 1619. 

I think we can all agree that we have a lot of real problems in Maine, ranging from our workforce and housing challenges to figuring out how to grow our economy and make Maine a more prosperous state. I ask you to think about which problem this bill addresses. The simple reality is that there isn’t one; but the tab has come due for those who relied on Planned Parenthood’s money to get elected to the State House.

Regrettably, almost every Democratic legislator has already co-sponsored this bill, indicating it’s on track to pass unless something changes. That something is YOU. You can make a difference here and I want to encourage you to join me in fighting against this radical proposal. Join me in this fight to stop Maine from becoming the most extreme abortion state in the country.

This has been Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart. Thank you for listening; and I hope you remember that we can make Maine a place that protects the most vulnerable and truly is “the way LIFE should be.”

Senator Trey Stewart is the Senate Republican Leader and represents the communities of District 2 in Aroostook and Penobscot counties. He is a member of the Legislature’s Legislative Council.




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