May 13, 2013

Statehouse Notebook: Junk food, grades, abortion on Augusta agenda

Also, the Government Oversight Committee opens an investigation into possible improprieties at the Maine Center for Disease Control.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

The committee said it would wait until a federal investigation into the matter concludes before directing the office to investigate.


Two long-shot bills that would impede access to abortion in Maine are scheduled to be heard by a legislative committee Friday.

One, sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Espling, R-New Gloucester, would mandate "informed consent" before an abortion is performed. Before giving consent, a woman must be told "the number of weeks elapsed from the time of conception, the risks associated with the abortion and, at the woman's request, alternatives to abortion," the bill says.

The other bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, would require the "written consent of a parent or legal guardian before an abortion may be performed on a minor or an incapacitated person."

Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, would allow for a wrongful death suit in the death of an unborn viable fetus past 12 weeks old. However, a legal abortion would exempt a mother and abortion provider from being sued by the fetus's estate.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine will oppose all three bills, calling them "anti-choice."

"All healthcare decisions should be between a woman and her doctor -- not between a woman, her doctor, and legislators in Augusta," said Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono, in an ACLU statement. "Women can be trusted to make the decisions that are best for them, and their families. These bills send the wrong message to women across Maine."

The bills should be boosted by pro-life groups. In an email Thursday, Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League, called the bills "critical" and "based upon common sense and common ground." 

State House Bureau Writer Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at:


Twitter: @mikeshepherdme


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