Medical organizations, advocates urge lawmakers to pass bill to protect Maine’s providers of reproductive care and essential health care for transgender people 

UPDATE: The HCIFS Committee voted to advance the bill.

As Maine lawmakers prepare to hold a work session on a bill that would protect the state’s reproductive and transgender care providers from hostile out-of-state attacks, leading medical and advocacy organizations are urging elected leaders to pass the legislation.

The Maine legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services (HCIFS) Committee will hold a work session on LD 227, An Act Regarding Health Care in the State, sponsored by Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais), today at 1 pm. LD 227 aims to ensure Maine law continues to govern health care practice and access in Maine, without hostile interference from other states. 

Lawmakers heard from dozens of Mainers and care providers earlier this month. They’ve also faced physical and political threats in days following that hearing. The bill, however, as Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey stated on March 12, would “simply protect providers of legally protected reproductive and gender-affirming health care provided in Maine from interference or retaliation from states with different policies.” 

LD 227 would protect Maine health care practitioners who provide reproductive and transgender health care in line with the professional standards of care from investigations, subpoenas, arrests, and litigation arising from another state simply because that state has banned access to care that is legal in Maine. The bill would also protect Mainers from having their medical records or cell phone data about protected health care shared with law enforcement agencies in other states where such care is banned. LD 227 does not change what health care is available in Maine or when parental consent is required for minors to access reproductive or transgender health care. 

LD 227 is supported by multiple Maine medical associations including Maine Association of Physicians Assistants, Maine Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Medical Association, Maine Nurse Practitioner Association, Maine Osteopathic Association, Maine Psychological Association, and National Association of Social Workers, Maine.

Statement from Lisa Margulies, Esq., Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

“This bill is fundamentally about protecting medical care that is safe and legal in Maine. We know that people opposed to full spectrum reproductive care and care for transgender people will not stop their attempts to take away our rights. The threats our lawmakers and state have seen in the past few weeks serve as crystal clear evidence that Maine needs laws that protect providers, patients and our health care infrastructure. We urge our lawmakers to continue to stand against these attacks and vote to advance LD 227.”

Statement from Dee A. Kerry, Executive Director, American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter

“We denounce pieces of legislation passed in other states that seek to criminalize pediatricians and other physicians who provide medically necessary care to their patients. These bills are dangerous, both for patients and the pediatricians who care for them. Despite the misinformation that has proliferated regarding this bill, LD 227 is essential for ensuring that individuals in Maine have unimpeded access to gender-affirming care and reproductive health care services, and that health care practitioners can provide these services without fear of unwarranted legal consequences. By protecting these rights, Maine can set an example for upholding the principles of patient autonomy, non-discrimination, and access to necessary medical care.”

Statement from Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) 

“LD 227 is  straightforward legislation to ensure that Maine law can continue to govern Maine health care. It will safeguard Maine’s health care infrastructure from hostile laws passed for political, not medical, purposes in other states and ensure Maine providers can continue to deliver high quality, standard-of-care medical care.”

Statement from Gia Drew, Executive Director, Equality Maine

“Politically motivated bans on best-practice medicine are specifically targeting gender-affirming health care. These attacks single out transgender youth by blocking access to life saving medical care, care that is backed by years of rigorous research and endorsed by every leading medical authority. We know that transgender youth thrive and can lead healthy lives as teens and eventually as adults, when they are supported by their family and can get the healthcare they need to affirm who they are. This bill would not only protect Maine’s medical providers from overreach from other states, it would secure confidential medical information, and send a powerful message to transgender people and their families that Maine can be a refuge from the current political storms raging across the country.”

Statement from Evelyn Kieltyka, Senior Vice President of Program Services, Maine Family Planning

“Gender-affirming care is under attack in other states, putting providers at risk for vigilantism from licensing boards that would use interstate compacts to penalize clinicians or from insurers that would use them to reject coverage––all the things this bill protects against. People, not politicians, should have the freedom to make their own health decisions, including when it comes to their gender and reproductive care.”

Statement from Bonnie Case, Co-Director, Mabel Wadsworth Center

“Mabel Wadsworth Center supports LD 227 because we support patients and providers. We know that people seeking gender-affirming care and reproductive care, including abortion care, deserve autonomy and agency. Trusted Maine providers deserve to confidently provide essential healthcare without worry of being targeted by political agendas from other states.”

Statement from Bre Danvers-Kidman, Executive Director, Maine TransNet

“This isn’t just about transgender healthcare or reproductive healthcare; it’s about ensuring providers in Maine can feel secure that they will be protected by the laws of this state in providing the best possible care to their patients. Letting out-of-state actors criminalize our providers would have consequences that reach far beyond those of us the opposition seeks to demonize–and they would do well to remember that.”

Statement from Destie Hohman Sprague, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Lobby

“We can’t allow violent rhetoric to stop the important work of our Legislature, or of Maine health care providers to perform legal care within their scope of practice. Passing LD 227 sends a strong message that Maine supports access to critical health care that advances gender justice. It also sends a message that extremists can’t get their way through threats of violence: our democratic process and continued work for gender equity won’t be scared away.”

Statement from Sue Campbell, Executive Director, OUT Maine

“LD 227 safeguards not just access to reproductive and transgender healthcare but the fundamental right of individuals to make informed medical choices in collaboration with trusted providers. It ensures that every person, regardless of circumstance, can confidently seek essential care, knowing they are protected and supported.”

Learn more about LD227