Statement from Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), on the ACLU and Planned Parenthood’s challenge of Maine’s medically-unnecessary abortion restriction:

We applaud the ACLU and Planned Parenthood as they challenge yet another medically-unnecessary restriction on women’s access to abortion care on behalf of NAF members. Today, the groups are challenging a Maine law, which blocks qualified nurse-practitioners and nurse-midwives from providing abortion care to their patients.

We’ve known for years that appropriately trained advanced practice nurses (APRNs) have the skills and expertise to provide safe abortion care. APRNs play an increasingly important role in the delivery of a range of health care services in the United States, and are already providers of prenatal and postpartum care; family planning services; and gynecological care.

The law in Maine singles out abortion care with no medical justification and needlessly prohibits women from obtaining care from qualified providers in their communities. Under the current law, APRNs are banned from providing abortion care, despite the fact that they use identical medication and techniques to help women manage miscarriages. This needlessly adds to the burdens women in Maine already face in trying to access abortion care. Allowing APRNs to include abortion care in the full scope of health care they provide will expand access to abortion care for women—especially those living in rural Maine.

Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures provided in the United States, whether it is provided by an advanced practice clinician or physician. The laws in Maine should reflect that reality.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.

Sponsored by NAF, Clinicians for Choice (CFC) is a membership organization representing pro-choice certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants working to increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

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