Maine has joined Iowa and Minnesota in expanding abortion access for low-income and rural women through telemedicine. Maine has three clinics that provide surgical abortions, located in Portland, Augusta and Bangor. A 1992 Supreme Court decision prevents states from posing an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

For a woman living in Presque Isle with limited resources, traveling 150 miles to the nearest clinic is certainly an “undue burden” and undoubtedly may restrict her from the abortion or birth control she seeks. This new form of care allows women within the first 70 days of pregnancy to take an abortion pill while video-conferencing with a supervising doctor who may be hours away.

The Christian Civic League of Maine claims that telemedicine abortions are unsafe for women. The reality is that abortions in general are medically safer than many dental procedures.

Telemedicine abortion access serves to help rural and low-income women who don’t have the means to travel to a clinic, let alone raise a child. In doing this, Maine has taken a tremendously important step in protecting women’s right to health care.

Uma Blanchard


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