Health care is a human right, and that right includes access to quality reproductive care and safe, legal abortion care. Even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and 50 years of federal abortion law precedent last June, access to abortion was under constant attack. However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade issued a message to individuals and families across this country: reproductive rights are not important. But I, and my fellow – and numerous – colleagues in the Legislature believe that this is untrue. Just as I have told myself and many others facing this decision, the right to abortion care is a fundamental right, and we will fight to protect that right.

Stacy Brenner

In 2019, the Legislature passed a law that would require abortion services to be covered under MaineCare. Access to this critical care should not depend on whether you have public or private health insurance. However, a bill has been introduced, LD 494, that aims to repeal this 2019 law. If this bill were to pass, it would take away health care coverage for abortion services for thousands of Mainers. The right to an abortion depends on keeping this care affordable and accessible.

Standing up for reproductive freedom is about more than just protecting the right to abortion; it requires taking steps to improve access to care and remove barriers that prevent patients from exercising their rights.

This year, 94 of my legislative colleagues and I proudly cosponsored LD 1619 which would ensure that a decision to get an abortion remains solely between the person who is pregnant and their licensed, trusted medical provider. This bill was introduced before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in a 19-hour public hearing on Monday, May 1. No two pregnancies are the same, and no two medical complications are the same. As a nurse midwife and a mother, it is imperative that the government is not involved in making intimate and difficult choices regarding pregnancy.

On the same day, Rep. Laura Supica, D-Bangor, also introduced a bill, LD 1343, “An Act to Protect the Reproductive Freedom of Maine People by Preempting the Field of Abortion Regulation,” before the Judiciary Committee. This important legislation would ensure that the only governing body in Maine that can legislate abortion law is the state government. Without Roe, many local governments throughout the nation have been working to take control of a person’s right to abortion. We must ensure that this decision remains in the hands of the person who is pregnant and their medical provider. This legislation works in conjunction with the governor’s bill to protect this right.

The overturning of Roe reminded us of our responsibility as lawmakers to ensure our laws protect access to safe and affordable abortions. Across the nation, abortion access has been greatly limited, forcing many seeking an abortion to travel far distances at great emotional and financial cost to receive the care that they need. I have heard heartbreaking stories of families and young people having to spend the last of their savings to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion. Fortunately, Maine’s laws protects most Mainers from experiencing this hardship. Still, our current laws have failed a number of Maine families in heartbreaking situations.

Maine has reached a crucial moment in its history. Are we a state that supports reproductive freedom, or not? These are just some of the bills we will deal with this session that could significantly impact the rights of Mainers to access critical abortion care. Safe and affordable abortion care ensures that families can make decisions that are best for them.

Stacy Brenner represents Maine State Senate District 30, Gorham and most of Scarborough. She can be reached at or 207-287-1515. For updates, follow Brenner on Facebook at

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