Bill would provide $3M for family planning in Maine
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine bill would replace millions in federal funding to the state’s family planning network that was lost in an abortion “gag rule” dispute.
Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would provide about $3 million in funding for Planned Parenthood and Maine Family Planning to replace what providers rejected in a dispute over abortion counseling, the Portland Press Herald reported Thursday.
The state bill, sponsored by House Speaker Sara Gideon, would replace the federal Title X funds with state funding after the two organizations withdrew from the program last year. The decision came after the Trump administration adopted rules that prohibited the organizations from discussing abortion with their clients.
Planned Parenthood and Maine Family Planning provide family planning and other reproductive health services to 23,000 women at 50 sites across the state.
Gideon said at a briefing on the measure Thursday that she relied on Planned Parenthood for part of her health care needs when she was younger.
“Make no mistake, for many of these patients this is the only health care provider that they are seeing,” she said.
Opponents from the measure believe that taxpayer funds should not be used for abortion.
Karen Vachon, the executive director of the Maine Right to Life Committee, said that access to abortion is not health care.