Maine Holds Hearing on Bill to Legalize Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 2, 2023   |   3:54PM   |   Augusta, Maine

Horrified by the prospect that killing viable, late-term unborn babies in abortions soon could be legal in Maine, hundreds of people filled the state Capitol on Monday to protest a radical pro-abortion bill.

Gov. Janet Mills, a pro-abortion Democrat, introduced LD 1619 earlier this year to legalize abortions up to birth for any reason the abortionist deems “necessary.” Currently, abortions are legal up to 24 weeks.

The bill is especially dangerous and discriminatory toward children with disabilities. As an example of the supposed need for late-term abortions, Mills recently shared the story of a baby boy in Maine who was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disorder before birth, according to the AP. The governor asserted the mother should have been allowed to abort her late-term, fully-formed son in Maine – simply because he had a disability.

But Maine residents gave a resounding “no” to the pro-abortion bill Monday during a Judiciary Committee hearing, with nearly 700 people testifying against it, WMTW News 8 reports. The hearing began Monday afternoon and lasted about 19 hours into Tuesday morning, according to the report.

“If a baby can survive outside its mother, that means that it is alive. It has a life,” one woman, Audrey Wimmer, told lawmakers. “By terminating viable pregnancies, we are being shown that lives don’t matter, and that isn’t important.”

Also among the 675 pro-life testimonies was Ann Dowdy who brought her young daughter Rejoice to show lawmakers what their bill would destroy.

ACTION ALERT: To oppose this radical pro-abortion legislation, please Contact Maine state lawmakers.

“I think it is wrong to be killing our babies when they could be living. My daughter was born at 24 weeks gestation here in Augusta almost two years ago,” Dowdy said, according to WMTW.

Others emphasized that unborn babies after 24 weeks are fully formed, viable human beings

“We’re not talking about something done to some helpless tissue. This is a body with arms and legs and a heartbeat and face that is exposed to abortion by this bill,” said Eric Winter, who testified along with his wife.

In contrast, only 65 people testified in favor of the pro-abortion bill, the Bangor Daily News reports.

The governor advocated for the bill at a press conference ahead of the hearing, trying to flip the matter to portray pro-lifers as extreme for wanting to protect viable, late-term babies.

“What is extreme is forcing a woman to become dangerously ill from her pregnancy in order to access abortion care,” Mills said. “What is extreme is forcing a woman to give birth to a child who is going to immediately die. What is extreme is forcing a woman to leave her state to seek health care.”

But killing unborn babies in abortions is not health care, and late-term abortions are dangerous for mothers as well as their babies. Tens of thousands of medical doctors confirm that it’s never medically necessary to kill a viable unborn baby to save the mother’s life. Instead, labor would be induced or a C-section performed to save the mother and then care would be provided to her premature child. Killing the baby first would only delay life-saving care to the mother.

State pro-life leaders also called out Mills for lying during her campaign. Last year, she said she would not support changes to the current state abortion laws, according to Bangor Daily.

Karen Vachon, executive director of Maine Right to Life, said Mills is returning a favor to the Planned Parenthood abortion chain, which “spent millions buying elections in Maine and around the country.”

“Pro-abortion leaders have lied repeatedly about their true intention,” Vachon said. “During the campaign in 2022, they were content with the law the way it was. In January, they announced they would propose a narrow expansion to address specific instances of tragic fetal disease and debilitation. Now they’ve moved the goal post once again, proposing abortion on demand, with no limitations to the point of birth.”

Prior to the hearing, Maine Right to Life and other pro-life advocates filled the State House for a rally supporting unborn babies’ right to life. Pro-life lawmakers promised to fight the bill; however, Democrats control the legislature and the chance of it passing is strong.

Maine residents are advocating against the pro-abortion bill in their local communities, too. Pat Truman, of Hallowell, urged lawmakers to protect unborn babies and reject the bill in a letter to the editor at Central Maine.

“This bill must be firmly opposed because it is the most severe and barbaric attack on life that we have witnessed thus far,” Truman wrote. “To legalize the killing of an unborn baby — right up to birth — is a reality too horrible to contemplate.”

Numerous polls in recent years have found that most Americans oppose late-term abortions. They recognize that babies in the womb should be protected, at the very least, once they are viable.

Abortion activists know this. So when they push legislation to allow late-term abortions, they typically do so with stories about tragic circumstances and claims that viable, fully-formed babies will not be killed for elective reasons.

But the evidence shows otherwise. Research about late-term abortions indicates that viable unborn babies are aborted for elective reasons in states where it’s legal.

A recent study from ANSIRH, a pro-abortion research group at the University of California, found women have third-trimester abortions for a number of reasons, including difficulty obtaining an abortion, the inability to afford an abortion earlier, failure to realize she was pregnant earlier, and medical problems with the unborn baby. None of the abortions in the study were because of medical problems with the mother, according to the report.

“The reasons people need third-trimester abortions are not so different from why people need abortions before the third trimester…” the researchers wrote. “[T]he circumstances that lead to someone needing a third-trimester abortion have overlaps with the pathways to abortion at other gestations.”

In Maine, the state health department reported 1,931 abortions in 2018.

ACTION ALERT: To oppose this radical pro-abortion legislation, please Contact Maine state lawmakers.