There seems to be a great deal of misinformation swirling around a bill I presented regarding the safety of the women in Maine. It’s a bill that’s being unfairly painted as “anti-abortion” legislation (“Our View: Bill on abortion-clinic rules creates hidden obstacles,” April 28).

I submitted L.D. 1312, “An Act To License Outpatient Surgical Abortion Facilities,” as a proactive measure to help ensure safe access to family planning services for all Maine women. Abortion clinics in Maine are the only outpatient surgical facilities in the state that operate with no oversight. It’s about safe access, not restricting access.

Critics want to tie this to legislation passed in Texas that placed unrealistic requirements on abortion clinics to shut them down. L.D. 1312 is nothing like the Texas bill.

As Mario Moretto of the Bangor Daily News accurately summarized: This bill “excludes abortion clinics from ‘brick-and-mortar’ requirements about surgery room size and hallway widths. Those standards were among those imposed in Texas that caused many providers to close their doors.”

It’s amazing the facts one can glean from actually reading the bill.

This bill seeks to provide needed oversight to facilities that have been operating without any for years. What this bill does not do is give the Department of Health and Human Services “enhanced authority to write rules for abortion clinics that could interfere with their operation,” as critics claim.

Maine’s abortion clinics are the outlier here. They’re the only outpatient surgical facility currently exempt from licensing and inspection.

This bill mirrors legislation passed in Maryland with bipartisan support and signed into law by Democratic then-Gov. Martin O’Malley. The bill’s passage was so transformational it was lauded by The New York Times.

As the mother of a young daughter, my hope is that Maine can follow Maryland’s lead and act in the best interest of the women all across Maine.

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