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Maine Abortion Laws


Abortion is legal in Maine through viability. Thereafter, abortion is legal only to save the mother’s life.


In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Maine's law generally permits pre-viability abortions.

In fact, Maine’s abortion laws are more accommodating for women seeking abortions than those of many other states. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Maine an “A” grade for its choice-related laws such as requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptive prescriptions and providing access to emergency contraception. 

Protection of Live Fetuses

In addition, Maine has laws to protect babies born alive during an abortion procedure. For example, if an abortion results in a live birth (i.e. breathing or having a beating heart after extraction from the mother), the doctors must try to preserve the life and health of the baby. If they don’t they could be charged with a homicide crime or be civilly liable for wrongful death or medical malpractice. Also, the sale of live human fetuses is illegal in Maine.  

Abortion Laws in Maine

The following table lists the basic provisions of Maine’s abortion laws.

Code Section Maine Code Revised Title 22, Chapter 263-B: Abortions
Statutory Definition of Abortion An abortion is the intentional interruption of a pregnancy by the application of external agents, whether chemical or physical, or the ingestion of chemical agents with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.
Legal Abortions Before viability, an abortion performed by a physician, a physician's assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse is lawful. After viability, only abortions necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother are permitted.
Illegal Abortions Abortions performed by people who aren't physicians, a physician's assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse, or post-viability other than to preserve life and health of the mother.
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion The following actions are Class D crimes:
  • Performing abortion on a minor without parental or court consent or an emergency (also subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation)
  • Knowingly disregarding the viability of a fetus
  • Performing an abortion knowing it’s not necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother and the fetus is viable outside the womb

An unlicensed person performing an abortion is a Class C crime.

Informed Consent All women, adults or teens, must provide informed written consent for the abortion. Informed consent requires the doctor to tell the patient in a non-misleading way, at least the following:
  • Confirm she’s pregnant
  • The number of weeks elapsed from the probable time of the conception (age of fetus)
  • The risks associated with her pregnancy and the abortion technique to be performed
  • At the woman's request, information on alternatives to abortion, such as childbirth, adoption, agencies to provide assistance, etc.
Parental Consent Both the girl who’s under 18 and one parent, guardian, or adult family member must give informed written consent for the abortion. However, in emergencies consent isn’t required. Also, a probate court judge can provide consent at the request of the pregnant minor.
Physician Licensing Requirement Only licensed medical or osteopathic physicians can perform abortions in Maine.
Medical Professional Refusal to Perform Abortion A doctor, nurse, or hospital can refuse to perform abortions without being liable, lose their job, or be disciplined for that refusal.

If your constitutional right to have an abortion were infringed upon in Maine, you should talk to an experienced local health care or constitutional rights lawyer.

Note: State and federal laws change constantly, especially in a controversial area like abortion. Contact a knowledgeable attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these abortion laws.

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