Maine bill would provide MaineCare coverage for abortion

April 9, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — An effort to provide state funding for abortions is moving through the Maine Legislature.

The Legislature’s health coverage committee voted 7-5 Tuesday in favor of Democratic Rep. Joyce McCreight’s legislation. The bill has 80 co-sponsors.

McCreight’s proposal would set aside more than $600,000 over a two-year budget cycle to cover abortions under Maine’s Medicaid program. The bill also would require private carriers that cover maternity services to cover abortions.

The 1977 federal Hyde Amendment only lets states use federal Medicaid dollars for abortions in certain cases, but states can fund abortions themselves. Advocacy groups in 2015 challenged Maine’s current ban on Medicaid-funded abortions.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature is considering several abortion bills, including a proposal to allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions.