In case you missed it, this weekend the Portland Press Herald Editorial Board warned voters not to take Paul LePage’s word for it that he won’t roll back abortion rights if elected this November. According to the Press Herald, “the evidence to the contrary is just too strong, and the cost of being wrong – the loss of reproductive rights for hundreds of thousands of Maine women – is too high.”
The Editorial Board pointed to LePage’s long history of being anti-abortion as a warning sign, saying,
While in office, LePage was loudly anti-abortion. He attended and spoke at numerous anti-abortion rallies. In 2016, he said, “We should not have abortion.” In 2018, when asked about overturning Roe v. Wade, he said, “Let’s do it.” Just this year, in a survey from the anti-abortion Christian Civic League of Maine, he answered “yes” when asked if abortion access should be restricted.
Given those statements, and the support for abortion restrictions throughout the party, its voters and donors, it’s not a leap to believe abortion rights are in trouble if Republicans gain control of the State House.
They also rebutted LePage’s campaign claim that because he never passed an anti-abortion bill when Republicans controlled the legislature in 2010-11, it would not happen under Republican control in 2023:
LePage’s campaign argues that the last time that happened, in 2010-2011, when he was governor and Republicans controlled the Legislature, no anti-abortion bills passed.
That’s true, but it was also a different time. Roe was still the law of the land, and most Republicans saw no reason to put their leadership in jeopardy by backing abortion restrictions that not only were unpopular but also would have no legal effect.
They would, however, have an impact if passed in the next session, now that the Supreme Court has decided that abortion rights should be left up to the states.
The editorial comes just days after the Christian Civic League of Maine emailed its followers saying they should not believe LePage’s statement that he would veto a 15-week abortion ban.