LD 227 Passes both the House and Senate and Awaits Governor’s Signature 

April 12, 2024

Augusta, Maine – After weeks of violent threats, disinformation, fear mongering and outright bullying from opposition, we are thrilled to see LD 227 pass in the House and Senate, and believe our Governor will sign this bill into law in due time. After a rocky ride for this and a similar bill through the legislature over the past year, this conclusion couldn’t come at a better time, as more than 40% of states across the country have either banned or attempted to block access to reproductive care, which includes abortions, as well as transgender healthcare for minors. The passing of this bill is due in large part to the strength of pro equality and pro reproductive choice elected officials and a combination of coalition partners who worked together for a common goal. 

Statements from members of Maine’s LGBTQ+ Legislative Coalition

The votes this week in both the Maine House and Senate in support of LD 227 show how committed the majority of our elected officials are to protecting Maine’s healthcare providers from hostile attacks from other states, and also illustrates how resilient they are in the face of mountains of disinformation as well as violent threats made against them during the legislative process. The Shield Bill will not only add a necessary layer of safety for providers who offer reproductive and transgender healthcare that is vital to the health and wellbeing of people and families in Maine; it also provides protections for patients who are seeking care. This bill is even more important in the unsettling world we live in today, as more than 40% of states across the country have either banned or attempted to block access to reproductive care, which includes abortions, as well as transgender healthcare for minors. Maine’s lawmakers have shown again that they are steadfast in their ability to withstand the pressures from a loud minority of voices, who unfortunately use ugly rhetoric to push their out-of-touch agenda, and stand up for our personal freedoms and bodily autonomy. EqualityMaine and our coalition of partners are strongly united in seeing this important bill over the finish line, and join a host of other states that also believe in protecting our rights to healthcare. 
Gia Drew (she/her/hers), Executive Director, EqualityMaine

The patterns of violence, threats, and extremism that accompanied the work around LD 227 point to why this bill was so essential. In order to protect the gains we’ve made in reproductive and gender-affirming health care, we must protect health care providers as well as our civil institutions and leaders who lead on these important issues. We’re grateful for the hard work of the bill sponsors, committee members, and those legislators and partner organizations who stood together to push back against these threats.
Destie Hohman Sprague (she/her/hers), Executive Director, Maine Women’s Lobby

While the hateful rhetoric and terrorist tactics leading up to the votes point to a worrisome trend in political discourse, we are heartened by the votes to pass LD 227. Maine healthcare providers can now be assured that it is safe for them to provide evidence-based, life-saving care without fear of criminalization by the overreaching hands of out-of-state politicians. Similarly, patients seeking care in Maine can now be assured that it is safe to access the healthcare they need. The majority of Maine lawmakers have demonstrated exceptional fortitude in the face of truly reprehensible behavior, and our state is better for it. The message is clear: Maine won’t let far-right extremism, outlandish misinformation, or even domestic terrorism stand in the way of ensuring all patients can safely access the best healthcare available here.
Bre Danvers-Kidman (they/them/theirs), Executive Director, MaineTransNet

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