Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Finally Some Good News

This time it is out of Maine and they joined other Democratic state to ban abortion and trans health information from being sent out of state.

Advocates praise passage, signing of shield law that will protect Maine providers of reproductive care and care for transgender people from out-of-state attacks
Maine joins more than a dozen states in enacting protections as Biden administration announces similar protections for abortion patients under federal patient privacy law

(Portland, MAINE) – Governor Janet Mills has signed into law a bill that will protect Maine’s providers of reproductive care and care for transgender people from out-of-state attacks. The measure, LD 227, was approved by the legislature on April 12 and will take effect in mid-July.

Lawmakers heard from numerous Mainers and care providers who advocated for the measure in March. In the days following that public hearing, legislators faced physical and political threats along with rampant disinformation. In addition, attorneys general from 16 red states threatened legal action if Maine’s legislature continued working on the bill. As Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey stated, the bill “simply protect[s] providers of legally protected reproductive and gender-affirming health care provided in Maine from interference or retaliation from states with different policies.”   

To date, 21 states across the country have enacted bans or near total bans on abortion. At least 24 states have banned access to safe and effective medical care for transgender adolescents, and some have moved to restrict access to care for transgender adults.
You want to guess what political party the governor is with?

Are you surprised?

Maine Public Radio writes,
A legislative committee split along party lines on Thursday over a proposed "shield law" to protect health care professionals who offer gender-affirming care to transgender individuals.

Maine already has protections for medical professionals who provide abortions to women from states where abortions are banned or access is restricted. The bulk of those protections come from an executive order issued by Gov. Janet Mills in 2022. The bill that was endorsed by a majority of committee members on Thursday would strengthen those protections for abortion providers and expand them to health care professionals who offer gender-affirming care to transgender individuals.
How about guessing the Republican response to the bill?
But Republicans suggested that the bill could violate the rights of parents of transgender children or encourage kidnapping and trafficking of minors across state lines. Bill supporters responded that the measure would not change any laws related to parents' rights in Maine or laws allowing the prosecution of illegal activity, such as kidnapping.

Republicans also raised concerns about harming the relationship between law enforcement agencies in Maine and other states. And they accused Democrats of a lack of transparency because the text of the bill was released only days before the public hearing.

"I think this whole process is shameful," said Rep. Joshua Morris, R-Turner, who was one of the four votes against the bill.
The Republican states played hard ball with making threats…
Last week, the proposal drew national attention after the attorneys general from 16 states sent a letter threatening legal action if Maine enacts the bill. All of the attorneys general represent states that have restricted access to abortion and/or gender-affirming care.

In their letter to Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, Gov. Janet Mills and Democratic legislative leaders, the attorneys general portrayed the bill as an attempt to bully officials in other states. The group took particular issue with language that would allow health care providers in Maine to counter-sue states that go after them for providing gender-affirming care.
Typical Republican trickery with threats and lies.

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