Maine Senate approves bill to require MaineCare, private coverage for abortion

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) A bill to require Maine's Medicaid program and private insurers to cover abortion has been approved by the Senate.

The Senate voted 19 to 16 in favor of the legislation Tuesday afternoon, a week after the House approved the bill.

The bill requires further votes in both chambers.

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.