PORTLAND (WGME) – The political fight over abortion is heating up in Augusta, with democrats introducing a new bill that would require insurance providers to cover abortion.
With democrats now in control of the legislature, lawmakers are expected to consider several abortion-related bills this year.
The bill out Thursday would require public and private insurance providers to cover legal abortion services.
It would also require DHHS to provide coverage to MaineCare members for abortion services.
The bill's sponsor says she wants to make sure all women, including low income women, have access to the full range of maternity-based services, including abortions, but critics say the bill amounts to taxpayers paying for abortions.
“That we get politics out of it and have women, with their health care providers, have the chance to have the options for the choices that they would like to make,” Rep. Jay McCreight said.
“Most people you talk to, even those who support Roe vs. Wade, those who support the ability to get an abortion, they don't want to pay for it or they don't want to force other people to pay for it,” Rep. Amy Arata said.
The bill has an exemption for religious employers, who wouldn't have to cover abortions.
A national abortion rights group says Maine is among the 14 states where abortion access is most protected.