Governor's 2010: Views on abortion

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 handed down its decision on Roe vs. Wade, states have developed a series of laws regulating abortion.

Tomorrow: Evolution vs. creationism

Tomorrow: Evolution vs. creationism

Some states have added provisions requiring parental consent and pre-procedure counseling. Others have banned a procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion.

Maine's laws are fairly straightforward: Abortions must be performed by a physician. Doctors and hospitals have the right to decline performing the procedure.

The state also prohibits abortions once the fetus reaches a point where it can survive outside the womb, otherwise known as infant viability.

Women can receive public funding for abortion in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.

Over the years, lawmakers have proposed changes to Maine's regulations.

In 1999, a bill that would have banned partial-birth abortions died between the two chambers of the state Legislature. Later that year it was defeated by voters.

State law allows minors seeking an abortion to avoid getting permission from their parents with the OK of a doctor or a judge. In 2005, state Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, sponsored a bill requiring parental notification, but it was voted down by both chambers.

That same session, the Legislature defeated another measure requiring a physician to counsel a woman seeking an abortion 24 hours before the procedure was to take place. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 18 states have enacted similar legislation.

The battle between pro-choice and pro-life groups continues, often with one side attempting to expand its reach through seemingly unrelated legislation.

That happened in 2005 when several Republicans in the Legislature attempted to implement a fetal homicide bill to create additional criminal offenses in cases involving violence against pregnant women. But pro-choice advocates worried the definition "unborn child" would open the door for prosecution against abortion providers.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states have adopted fetal homicide laws. The Maine legislation died when Democrats used a parliamentary procedure to delay a roll call vote, a move that incensed the bill's Republican sponsors, according to news reports at the time.

Here's where the gubernatorial candidates stand on abortion.

Eliot Cutler, 64, independent

Cutler is definitive in his position. He's pro-choice.

However, he said he respects those who have a moral opposition to abortion based on their religious or personal beliefs.

He said both sides should come together to find ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

John Jenkins, 58, independent

Jenkins said he doesn't support partial-birth abortion unless a mother's life is at risk.

Jenkins also believes minors should have to notify their parents before having the procedure.

Jenkins said he wouldn't want to change any of Maine's laws governing abortion, but he was wary of the procedure becoming "a birth-control method."

He said he would also lead the charge to make sure residents knew more about abortion service providers, in particular Planned Parenthood. Jenkins subscribes to the theory that the organization's founder, Margaret Sanger, was a proponent of eugenics, the controversial effort to discourage reproduction by people who have so-called undesirable traits.

"I think family planning agencies have done a great service for women," he said. "But I'm also painfully aware of their history in the eugenics movement, which targeted populations that 'needed to be controlled,' people that look like me."

"I think people need to know more about who's giving you this advice," he added.

Paul LePage, 61, Republican

LePage said he's pro-life.

"I come from a family of 18 kids," LePage said. "If my parents favored abortion that might have been it for me."

LePage did not elaborate on how he would want to amend the state's abortion laws.

Libby Mitchell, 70, Democrat

Mitchell is pro-choice.

She said she wouldn't amend the state's abortion laws or its parental consent provision.

She said the current law balances the rights of an individual with the rights of a family.

Shawn Moody, 51, independent

Moody called abortion an "intimate, personal choice."

"I personally wouldn't make that choice," he said. "But I feel for the people who do."

He said potential changes to the state's abortion law would require a "dramatic change in the state leadership."

"And I don't see that happening," he said.

Kevin Scott, 42, independent

Scott, a self-described Christian, doesn't care for abortion.

However, he said he wouldn't impose his beliefs on those who decide to have the procedure.

"I'm not going to tamper with that," he said.

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Comments

 's picture

Preventing abortions

I think all candidates are against abortions as birth control...the question is, or should be, what will you do as governor to help prevent/reduce abortions. What is puzzling about the so-called Christians who are against choice is that they are also against any form of sex education/birth control - except for abstinence (and you can ask so-called Christians Sarah/Bristol Palin how that is working). These anti-education, anti-birth control, anti-choice people are indirectly responsible for unwanted pregnancies that lead to ..abortion. Go figure.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Abstinence only doesn't work

To quote melora, "Teens get into trouble or hang with the wrong crowd because they are not getting what they need from their family and parents." Thank you, that is exactly what I am saying. Therefore, educate teens and all young men and women about choices they have (yes, including abstinence). Your 'head in the sand' approach promotes unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Go read the statistics.

 's picture

Sten - the question is

Sten - the question is important to this newspaper simply because they want to sway democrats to vote for Libby and need any excuse they can to pull back the voters which nationwide are showing to lean to the right at present...it has nothing to do with any decision a governor might make but simply a biased question to favor one candidate..what did you really expect from this liberal buttkissing newspaper?

 's picture

f&h

nice post. well said.

 's picture

Well it seems to me that if

Well it seems to me that if the woman exercises her “right to choose” to have sex, she should grant the child the “right to choose” whether they would like to live or die.

How can we possibly grant a mother the “right of choose” to murder and not grant the unborn child the “right to choose” to live?

Again, the person most affected by the decision is the only one with no real say in the matter. They have no “choice”.

I am “pro-choice” – I favor giving the unborn child the “choice".

RONALD RIML's picture

Then you give her the right to decide if sex was non-consensual.

OK......

RONALD RIML's picture

Yes, you did.....

K0NPHL1C7 writes: "Well it seems to me that if the woman exercises her “right to choose” to have sex, she should grant the child the “right to choose” whether they would like to live or die."

Therefore, according to your logic, if a woman does not choose to have sex - then she - rather than the child - has the choice regarding an abortion.

You can't have it both ways.

RONALD RIML's picture

You set up the condition of the logical inference.

You set up the condition of the logical inference; there is no other way of interpreting it.

You need to watch what you say.

RONALD RIML's picture

Don't like abortion? Don't have one.

Don't like abortion? Don't have one.

RONALD RIML's picture

Now if we could just get you to believe in Education....

Now if we could just get you to believe in Education....

RONALD RIML's picture

God yes - you certainly remember your Bible!!!

Sorry F&H - your name change slipped me for a minute, otherwise I wouldn't have messed with you. You actually are one of my favorite conservatives here.

As you know, Mosaic Law doesn't mention foeticide - only one verse refers to the secondary death of a fetus. There is some question if this is 'Accidental' killing or 'Reckless'

RONALD RIML's picture

A reasonable, cogent position -

in what is otherwise a very emotional area. I certainly wouldn't want to be placed in the position of making the decision - nor would I make the decision that a woman could not decide.

Mark Wrenn's picture

agreed

"This society needs to respect women", and respect their ability to reach their own decisions!

RONALD RIML's picture

Agreed

Love which is conditional is not really Love.

God's love, which is the most perfect and pure love - is truly unconditional. It is how we are forgiven by Him, and how we should forgive.

That is how I strive to love my wife, and pray to be loved.

Damn you're good for a Conservative!!! :)

 's picture

What importance does this

What importance does this question have to do being governor? This an issue for the Supreme court. What does eugenics have to do as an answer to an irrelevant question for gubernatorial race?? The best response is that it is a personal choce.There are enough IMPORTANT questions that are relevant for this race which has its clowns, especially those who don't want to run but have to BECAUSE the people want HIM...

RONALD RIML's picture

That will be up The Creator

He's the Gatekeeper.

 's picture

Intelligent responses? from

Intelligent responses? from people who think killing an unborn child is ok but killing a deer to feed your family is bad? Come on, come to your sesnes lad....this is liberal democrats we're talking about, if they are smart they won't comment at all on this one..

 's picture

Steve Bulger said: "Why is it

Steve Bulger said: "Why is it that the same people who favor a woman's right to end the life of an unborn fetus are the same people who vehemently oppose the termination of life for a convicted murderer?"

I would pose a question to you- why is it that the same people who favor capital punishment (the death penalty) are the same people who oppose abortion?

The critical question about abortion revolves around whether or not one believes that a fetus is a human life, or put another way, at what point does human life begin. Those who vehemently oppose abortion believe that life begins at conception, mostly base on what their religious beliefs are. Those who are pro-choice, believe life begins at some othe point. The overarching question here is, as Shawn Moody said, a deeply personal one, and should be left to the individual. Unfortunately, the party that claims to want to have LESS government intrusion into our personal lives, has made it one of their central missions to legislate a ban on abortions, and gay marriage, either at the state or federal level, up to and including constitutional amendments--all based upon their religious beliefs, and thereby imposing those beliefs on others.

RONALD RIML's picture

Anything like demolishing an unbuilt building?

The pieces are there, but it can't stand on it's own.

Check the old laws on "Quickening"

 's picture

Very good questions! I am

Very good questions! I am anxious to hear what sort of intelligent responses you receive.

Steve Bulger's picture

Questions

There are a couple of questions that I would like someone to answer...intelligently:
1) How is it that an underage female can seek and obtain (with the concurrence of a doctor or judge) an abortion without notifying her parents, but that same young lady cannot get a piercing or tatoo without parental consent?
2) Why is it that the same people who favor a woman's right to end the life of an unborn fetus are the same people who vehemently oppose the termination of life for a convicted murderer?
Conundrums

RONALD RIML's picture

Answers

1. - Her parents may be batshit crazy.

2. - This is a classic example of a 'non sequitur' - i.e. "Why do people with black hair eat clam chowder?" - Some do, some don't....

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