Today, Teen Vogue highlighted Governor Janet Mills’ work to expand access to reproductive health care for Maine people, and the threat posed by her predecessor, anti-choice Republican Paul LePage, who repeatedly opposed a woman’s right to choose and who fought tooth-and-nail to limit Maine peoples’ access to health care.
As Governor Mills has fortified Mainers’ access to reproductive care, those rights are under attack at the national level and in states around the country. Republican-run states such as Texas and Mississippi have enacted increasingly restrictive abortion laws, threatening those who receive abortion care and putting pressure on clinics to close. While those laws are being challenged in court, legal scholars worry that those cases could result in conservative Supreme Court majority striking down Roe v. Wade.
With abortion rights being undermined at the national level, Governors may be the last line of defense protecting these rights. From requiring insurance to cover abortion care, to allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other qualified medical professionals to administer abortions, to expanding health care to more than 85,000 Maine people, Governor Mills has shown that she will always fight for Mainers to have access to the reproductive health care they need.
On the other hand, LePage cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state family planning agency as part of a budget cut that was estimated to strip health care access from 24,000 Mainers. He spent years blocking access to quality health care for 85,000 Mainers, which has since been expanded by Governor Mills and allows thousands to access life-saving care like family planning services, prescription drugs, mental health services, and prenatal care. And in a state where a vast majority of people support access to reproductive health care services, he repeatedly advocated against Mainers’ rights, joining anti-abortion rallies and saying “let’s do it” if the Supreme Court could make the case to roll back Roe v. Wade.
“As Governor, Paul LePage did everything in his power to make it as hard as possible for Mainers to access reproductive health care,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “Since he left the Blaine House, we’ve made tremendous progress towards ensuring that every Mainer gets the care they need and deserve. With abortion rights under attack all across the country, Maine people can know that Governor Mills will protect their rights while LePage will only undercut them. We can’t risk the rights of Maine people by going backward with Paul LePage.”
Read more about how Governor Mills has been a champion for the reproductive health of Mainers here.