L.D. 820 is a bill that would end the economically discriminatory practice of insurance companies and MaineCare denying coverage of abortion to those women who are often the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in Maine.

To be clear, this bill is not about the right to an established, legal and safe procedure. L.D. 820 is about equality and closing health disparities between the haves and the have-nots. It’s about knowing that insurance will cover maternity care if you choose to become a parent, but that it will also cover abortion if that is what is best for you or your family.

As a family doctor practicing full-spectrum health care, I strongly believe women and their families are best suited to make the deeply personal and private decisions regarding their pregnancies, in consultation with their health care providers. Whether they choose abortion or prenatal care should not be influenced by finances, which is all too commonly a strong factor for many of my patients.

The American Academy of Family Physicians endorses the principle that women receiving health care paid for through health plans funded by state or federal governments who have coverage for continuing a pregnancy (i.e., maternity care) also have coverage for ending a pregnancy.

I join hundreds of health care providers and Mainers in supporting L.D. 820. Let’s move Maine forward and finally remove the financial restrictions and end the practice of discriminating against low-income women and other vulnerable populations in Maine.

Dr. Kohar Der Simonian

Falmouth