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.
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.