Maine lawmakers to consider abortion bills

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May 9, 2013, 8:36 pm
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(NECN: Marnie MacLean) - Pro-choice advocates spoke out in Maine's capital Thursday against three proposed bills they say erode a women's right to choose.

Next week, Maine lawmakers will hear three bills that deal with abortion. One would require parents to give consent to a minor seeking an abortion. Current law requires adult involvement in the decision, but it doesn't have to be a parent. Another bill would require doctors to give more information to women both in writing an orally about their procedure and also alternatives like adoption. The third bill seeks to establish a fetus as a person to allow for wrongful death lawsuits.

A co-sponsor of the bill that would require minors to get parental consent says it isn't right to take parents out of that important decision making process.

"I think parents should have more of an opportunity to be involved, the law isn't strong enough in that right now. It gives parents extra protection to make sure they have a say in what goes on in kids lives," Rep. Ellie Espling said.

A broad coalition of pro-choice advocates spoke out against the bills, including members of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights.   

"Yes, I'm a grandmother, I've done my time, but I have a daughter and four grandchildren and there are many other women out there facing restrictions that shouldn't happen," Jay McCreighty said.

The Family Planning Association of Maine is also fighting against the bills, including the one requiring minors to get permission from a parent.

Nancy Audet says only 4 percent of their patients who seek abortions are minors, and the vast majority do talk to their parents before getting an abortion.

Both sides will have a chance to make their case to lawmakers next week.

Tags: maine, Augusta, Marnie MacLean, Maine lawmakers, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights, Family Planning Association of Maine, Jay McCreighty, Ellie Espling
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