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Maine

Freedom of Choice Act

Maine has created additional protections for reproductive rights by adding an affirmative right to choose into its state law.  In 1979, Maine enacted a law stating that it is the public policy of the state that abortion after viability can only be provided if necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman and that abortion care may be provided only by a physician.  In 1993, Maine reaffirmed its public policy that a woman's right to privacy must not be restricted except as described in the 1979 law.  John Hale, McKernan pushes bill to strengthen abortion rights, Bangor Daily News, Feb. 5, 1993.  This law ensures women's access to pre-viability abortion services and would remain in effect even if Roe v. Wade were overturned.  

"It is the public policy of the State that the State not restrict a woman's exercise of her private decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability except as provided in section 1597-A [Maine's young women's access law]."  Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 1598(1) (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1993).


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