Bath, Maine, 1919. Doris – 18, unmarried, motherless at 15, living in West Bath with sister’s family, employed at Texas Steamship Company – amid a relationship with a co-worker, becomes pregnant.

Maine law allows unrestricted abortion until 24 weeks and after if necessary for the mother’s health. Now Gov. Mills seeks to change current law to allow unrestricted abortion through birth, with the mother’s rights the sole determinant of her baby’s life.

I oppose expanding Maine abortion law through birth. A fetus is dependent upon but is a genetically distinguished and separate being from its mother, developing to become viable. When does abortion become infanticide? The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1973) shows “infantia” as deriving from the Latin “in fari,” meaning “unable to speak.” Who is charged with protecting those unable to speak? The state has a charge in this. What does it say about Mainers that expanding abortion through birth would align us with North Korea, China, Vietnam? Is this really what our citizens demand? I think not.

Doris, pregnant in 1919, married her co-worker, my grandfather, and gave birth in 1920 to my uncle, and then my dad, who engendered me 32 years later. I am grateful to my grandparents for choosing life, a precious gift that I hope Mainers will agree is worth making every effort to protect. We should oppose expanding abortion through birth.

Deborah Milite

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