Bill for Medicaid, private coverage for abortion moves ahead

Published: May. 7, 2019 at 2:29 PM EDT
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A bill to require Maine's Medicaid program and private insurers to cover abortion is moving ahead in the Legislature.

The House voted 79-63 supporting the bill Tuesday following hours-long debate. Democrats control the House, 88-56.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

States can only use federal funds for abortions involving rape, incest or life endangerment.

The amended bill's fiscal note says it'd cost $375,000 to cover abortions through Maine's Medicaid program annually.

The bill wouldn't provide new funding for such coverage and doesn't address the impact of unfunded costs on other state programs.

Domestic violence groups say abusers can mislead low-income victims into pregnancies. Republicans argue taxpayer-funded abortions are unjust and would lead to more abortions.

Lawmakers are also weighing whether to expand Maine's list of abortion providers.