House Democrats Playing Political Games With Women’s Safety

Improper referencing puts Maine women at risk

Augusta – Maine Democrats in the House of Representatives have chosen politics over the safety of women. This morning, House Democrats voted to ignore the Maine Senate and improperly reference a bill regarding licensure to the Judiciary Committee in a desperate attempt to paint it as an “abortion bill.”

This unprecedented action came after the bill’s sponsor’s vehement objection and her explanation to her colleagues to why the bill belongs in Health and Human Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over licensure issues such as this. One needs to look no further than the title of the bill, “An Act To License Outpatient Surgical Abortion Facilities” to see that this bill should be on its way to the HHS Committee.

“This bill is about is about safe access not restricting access,” Rep. Sanderson said. “What we saw on the House floor this morning was the Democrats choosing to ignore the safety of Maine women in a desperate attempt to make this bill about abortion rights. Let me be clear; this bill has nothing to do with abortion rights. It’s about making sure the state has the ability to inspect and survey these facilities to ensure they’re treating patients in the safest manner possible.”

This bill was crafted after similar legislation passed in Maryland after women there began showing up in emergency rooms having been butchered at abortion clinics that were operating without the proper oversight and regulation. The beauty of the Maryland bill is the way in which it passed through their legislature. The New York Times not only hailed the effectiveness of the law, but the bipartisan nature in which it was passed:

“The near disaster in an Elkton mall led to something rare in this era of polarized abortion politics — sharply tightened oversight of Maryland abortion clinics that came into full force this year and won praise from both sides of the political divide. The state’s first system of licensing and inspecting the clinics has already improved patient safeguards without imposing costly burdens, defenders and opponents of abortion rights agree.”

Unfortunately, the political gamesmanship has already begun as Maine Democrats are trying to lump this bill in where it doesn’t belong where they’re hoping it gets lost in the Roe vs Wade debates that will undoubtedly be raging.

“This bill does not belong in the Judiciary Committee since it is not part the ‘pro-life versus pro-choice’ debate,” Sanderson said. “This bill is about licensure through the Department of Licensure and Regulatory Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It belongs in the Health and Human Services Committee where it will get a fair hearing outside of a polarizing and political debate that this is not a part of. We’re trying to be proactive here to ensure that these facilities are safe. I have no tolerance for game-playing when it comes to this issue. My hope is, if this bill makes it to the Judiciary Committee they will do the right thing and send it to the Health and Human Services Committee where it belongs.”

(Attached are bullet points outlining exactly what Rep. Sanderson’s bill would do)

Bullet List for LD 1176 (2)

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