PORTLAND, Maine — The Latest on a lawsuit to expand abortion access in Maine (all times local):
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills is not commenting on a lawsuit designed to expand abortion access in Maine.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit Wednesday. It targets a state law that requires abortions be performed solely by physicians. That means advanced practice registered nurses can’t perform them.
A spokesman for Mills says the office has not been served with the lawsuit and has no comments on the merits of the case.
Mills is a Democrat who is running for governor. Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s term ends in 2018.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have filed a federal lawsuit that challenges a Maine restriction common across most of the U.S. that abortions be performed solely by physicians.
The two groups were joined by four nurses and abortion provider Maine Family Planning in challenging the law that prevents advanced-practice registered nurses, such as nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, from performing the procedure.
Julie Jenkins, a Belfast nurse practitioner and a plaintiff, said the state’s rule is “medically unjustified” and especially punitive in Maine’s rural areas, where access to doctors who provide abortions can be scarce.
The Maine attorney general’s office said it hasn’t yet seen the complaint.
Three-fourths of the states in the U.S. require that abortions be performed only by a medical doctor.