Maine's Democratic governor signed an abortion bill into law on Monday that allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform the procedure.
Most states only permit physicians to perform abortions.
Mills, a Democrat, proposed the measure in March, calling for advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants to be allowed to perform medication-administered abortions on the grounds that it would increase abortion "access" in more rural parts of the state.
"These health care professionals are trained in family planning, counseling, and abortion procedures, the overwhelming majority of which are completed without complications", she said in the statement. The law will take effect in ME 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.
Only doctors can perform abortions in most states, for the safety of the woman. " It is set to go into effect in September, according to The New York Times". Stacey Guerin of ME said according to the New York Post.
ME marks the second state to allow non-doctors to perform in-clinic abortions - following California, according to the state's Office of Policy and Legal Analysis.
Pro-choice supporters and staff of Planned Parenthood hold a rally outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, May 31, 2019, the last location in the state performing abortions. "By signing this bill into law, ME is defending the rights of women and taking a step towards equalizing access to care as other states are seeking to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate these services".
California expanded its authorization for abortion providers in 2013, with legislation saying nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants with training could perform abortions. 1261, was sponsored by House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport.
The law in ME comes after other Democrat-led states moved to protect or expand abortions access in their states following a series of pro-life measures in red states, most notably in Alabama where abortion was banned after six weeks.