Maine LD 820 states that any insurance policy, including MaineCare, that offers maternity coverage must also provide coverage for early abortion. Maine law already says that the state shall “not restrict a woman’s exercise of her private decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability…” (Maine state statute 1598).

All over the country, women’s reproductive rights are under attack. States are attempting to restrict abortion access, and both states and the federal government are invading the doctor-patient relationship.

In addition to legal constraints on women’s reproductive rights, there are financial constraints. Women who have insurance which does not cover pregnancy termination, and who cannot afford an abortion, are forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy and assume the medical and financial risks of this pregnancy. Often these pregnancies are the result of contraceptive failure or partner coercion and not the result of carelessness.

There are safeguards in LD 820 which protect religious employers, and no federal funds are at risk. LD 820 sends a message that women should have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health, and that right should not be compromised by insurance companies’ unwillingness to cover those decisions. I encourage state representatives and senators to support LD 820.

More information is available online.

Jay Naliboff, MD, Chesterville