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Bill to expand abortion providers in Maine gets OK in House

May 21, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine could expand the kinds of health care providers who can perform abortions under a bill making its way through the Democratic-led Legislature.

The House voted 74-58 Tuesday on legislation allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to perform abortion procedures, depending on their training. Such advanced clinicians could provide medication abortion and in-clinic abortions, which typically involve suction.

The bill heads to the Senate.

Maine could become the second state after California with a law allowing non-doctors to perform abortions.

Nearly two dozen states have expanded their list of medication abortion providers following court or agency rulings.

Maine has faced lawsuits over its abortion provider restrictions, as well as its ban on state Medicaid funds for abortions. The Senate recently set aside a bill reversing that Medicaid ban.

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