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Sebastian's Point

Sebastian's Point is a weekly column written by one of our members regarding timely events or analysis of relevant ideas, which impact the Culture of Life. All regular members are invited to submit a column for publication at Columns should be between 800 to 1300 words and comply with the high standards expected in academic writing, including proper citations of authority or assertions referred to in your column. Please see, Submission Requirements for more details.

Big Abortion Rules: Maine Governor Signs Extreme Abortion Law

Karen Vachon

Executive Director

Maine Right to Life  |  31 August 2023


What happens when you have a majority legislature and governor beholden to Big Abortion?  You become a sanctuary state for abortion, regardless of the will of the people. The abortion industry rules in Maine; the voice of the people be damned.


Big Abortion wants people to believe it is about women’s reproductive health except that it’s not. The abortion industry is rooted in eugenics, deception, and manipulation.[1] There is nothing “reproductive” about it; it is a revenue-producing business. Backed by wealthy donors,[2] Big Abortion has influenced scientific research,[3] government, media,[4] and political campaigns. 


The people of Maine got a taste of Big Abortion’s power. A well-funded effort hijacked Maine and forced an extreme abortion policy after the abortion industry influenced politicians and was aided and abetted by the media and Maine Health.


LD 1619, An Act to Improve Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Laws was introduced under the advisement of the big abortion lobby.[5] When asked in the public hearing, if Planned Parenthood New England engaged in drafting the bill, acting CEO, Nicole Clegg, said “we certainly consulted and provided advice; I mean, we are medical experts.”[6] Signed by Governor Mills on July 19th, it becomes law on October 19th.  It eliminates all current restrictions on abortions throughout the entire pregnancy on perfectly healthy babies and allows physician assistants and advanced registered nurses to perform late-term abortions up until birth. It lifts criminal penalties for non-licensed providers. The decision to have an abortion is between the woman and her physician whenever a physician determines it “necessary.” Necessary is not defined.


Maine will have one of the most extreme abortion laws in the US and the world.[7]


Sadly, there were not enough pro-life legislators to stop this, but citizens and faith communities have awakened.


The future of Maine is in peril. Maine is the most rural and oldest state in the country, with a median age of 45.[8] Maine is one of only four states that has more deaths per year than births.[9]  Maine aborts 5.2 babies/day. [10]


The people of Maine were so opposed to LD1619 that many, for the first time, went to the capitol to speak out against this. Yet, despite relentless pleas, prayers, and cries, the abortion industry and its allies prevailed. In an historic 19 hour hearing (committee chairs changed rules reducing the time opponents could testify, from two to one minute), 1,184 people testified in opposition.[11] The public witnessed a one-sided committee work session that prohibited opponents from presenting.[12] When opposing committee members protested by walking out so there wouldn’t be a quorum to continue the session, the senate majority president assigned a Democrat to fill in to create a quorum and continue.[13] Only testimony supporting the abortion narrative was permitted in the chaotically run, behind-closed-doors work session that was scheduled on short notice so people would not have time to organize. So much for transparency.


Mainers embraced the state house as the people’s house, becoming confident and comfortable lining the halls daily for weeks, holding signs, speaking to lawmakers, singing and praying, waiting patiently for the debate and vote on the House and Senate floor only to witness majority lawmakers either ignore their constituents wishes, or avoid the vote by “taking a walk.” The majority sent a clear message to Maine’s people:  Big Abortion rules and the people’s voices do not matter. Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Deeley accused the bill’s supporters of bowing to the “whispers of special interests.”[14]


The abortion industry has been making inroads in Maine for years. In the 2022 election cycle, Maine was on their hit list. Spending record amounts in the 2022 election cycle,[15] pro-abortion groups got what they hoped for: A pro-abortion Trifecta: a Democrat Governor, Democrat majority House and Senate.[16] This was what they needed post-Dobbs to advance Maine’s already very liberal[17] abortion laws to be one of the most extreme in the country.[18]


Following Dobbs, the abortion industry evoked fear and spread misinformation that abortion was “women’s reproductive healthcare,” and overturning Roe meant women with ectopic pregnancies, fetal abnormalities, and miscarriages would not be treated legally.[19] By creating the narrative that overturning Roe was the problem, Big Abortion was emboldened to be the solution.


But Maine didn’t need a solution. In 1993, Republican Governor, John McKernan signed the Reproductive Policy Act affirming a woman’s ability to end a pregnancy up to viability.[20] This law ensured that if Roe v. Wade was overturned, Maine law would pick up where Roe v. Wade dropped off. Current Maine law permits abortion of non-viable pregnancy with no gestational limitations in the event of fatal fetal abnormalities.[21] The current law defines viability as “the state of fetal development when the life of the fetus may be continued indefinitely outside the womb by natural or artificial life-supportive systems.” Governor Mills agreed. During her re-election campaign, she told voters she would not change Maine’s 30-year-old abortion laws.[22]


But Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, had Mills’s ear. They endorsed her[23] – spending $98,813 directly on her re-election campaign. They also spent $349,509 to oppose Republican candidate, Paul LePage.[24] After winning her election, she reneged on her promise to Maine voters. In mid-January she announced she would propose legislation to expand abortion in Maine.[25] 


Big Abortion found their “problem” justifying Mills’s reversal. Mainer, Dana Peirce, whose 32-week pregnancy revealed a deadly form of skeletal dysplasia. This rare genetic mutation meant her baby would not survive outside the womb.[26] Peirce claimed Maine law was the problem – forcing her to get an abortion out-of-state.  

Maine law was not the problem. Late-term abortions are rare and risky.[27] There are only four abortionists in the US with experience in late-term abortions.[28] Peirce traveled to Colorado. This is no different from other rare medical conditions that require seeking specialists out of state.


Though people wrote letters and op-eds, the majority of Maine’s newspapers are owned by Masthead Maine which sided with abortion.[29] These newspapers did not run many opposing op-eds or letters.


The truth of how the abortion industry draws in billions of dollars each year was never told. The 2021-2022 annual report of the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, shows that their abortion services increased by 8%. Cancer screenings and prenatal care decreased by 70%. With $1.9 billion in revenue and over $2.3 billion in net assets, 35% of their overall revenue comes from taxpayer funding in the form of grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements.[30]


Maine did not need this law. Pro-life lawmakers challenged a flyer published in July of 2022 by Maine’s Attorney General office stating, “Maine law also provides exceptions to the viability restriction to save the life or health of the pregnant person or in the case of a fatal fetal diagnosis (italics added).[31] The Mills’s administration realized they had a problem. The AG’s office removed the flyer from their website.


After the bill passed, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Maine Wire and the Bangor Daily News revealed the coercion, bullying, and manipulation used to force the passage of this bill. The final vote was 74-72.


Who benefits when non-medical doctors can perform late-term abortions, with no criminal penalties for non-licensed providers? Not Maine. And especially, not women. The abortion industry, the media, and pro-abortion medical providers profit.  Readers beware: Big Abortion may target your state next.


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– Nicole Clegg, Acting CEO Planned Parenthood, New England.  2:47:47 – 2:52;29.

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