Faith Adams from Bangor, Maine, protests about abortion on June 24, 2022, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. Credit: Steve Helber / AP

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Stacey Guerin of Glenburn represents Maine Senate District 4. She is the Senate Republican Lead for the Legislature’s Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee.

I suffered a trauma many years ago, which has stayed with me throughout my life. It’s a tragedy that has fueled my passion for a particular cause and one many women face today. I had a miscarriage.

Although many years have passed, and I’ve come to understand God’s greater plan, it’s been a tough road to get here. I can still feel the pain of the severe loss my husband and I suffered and the life we so deeply miss.

As an elected official, I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of my constituents — including preborn children in the womb. While many women suffer a loss through miscarriage as I did, others choose to end that life intentionally. Today, Maine allows abortion until viability, which means a child could live on its own outside the womb if born. Due to technological advances, this can be between 21 and 24 weeks of gestation when a baby is already physically developed.

Science clearly confirms the humanity of each preborn child at the moment of fertilization, when genetics such as ethnicity, hair color, eye color and other traits are already determined. At just 12 weeks old, a baby can suck her thumb, swallow, grasp an object, touch her face, sigh and stretch out in her mother’s womb. By week 14, a baby’s lips and nose are formed, she makes complex facial expressions and her mother can feel her movements. At 25 weeks, a baby is fully formed and may survive outside the womb.

A bill recently introduced by Gov. Janet Mills would allow for an abortion through all nine months (40 weeks) of pregnancy, which may require the mother to undergo a significant surgical procedure called an induction abortion. Since the baby is fully developed and considered viable, the doctor must first terminate the baby’s life in utero before inducing the mother to deliver her baby stillborn in this procedure. Late-term abortions carry health risks and the mother’s future pregnancies may be at a greater risk due to abortion-related trauma.

What was the reasoning behind such a horrific bill allowing for third-trimester abortions? Mills said current law placed an undue, cruel burden on a particular mother who had to travel across state lines. Through this bill, a woman could terminate her pregnancy at any point with a doctor’s approval.

The doctor could be any number of individuals, including abortion providers at Planned Parenthood; and Maine taxpayers may have to pay for it. Think about that. Planned Parenthood could determine whether a child lives or dies while reaping the monetary benefits.

Only God knows what the future holds for these children. A doctor could diagnose a child with a life-threatening illness or fetal abnormality, recommend an abortion and be wrong. Babies without disabilities are wrongly diagnosed quite frequently and parents are encouraged to abort.

No child should be discriminated against because of a diagnosis. I believe in the beauty and dignity of every human life, and that every life is worthy of protection from the moment of conception. I chose life for my child many years ago and tragically lost it naturally. Having lost my own little one, I can only imagine the weight a woman may feel after aborting her child.

Unlike a miscarriage, abortion may intentionally and violently stop the heartbeat of a developing child and can leave a woman with long-term post-abortive trauma. No woman should have to suffer that. Looking back at it now, I know God is asking me to use my experience for the good of others.

That’s why I’m so passionate about voting no on this proposed bill. As the people of the beautiful state of Maine, we must say no to funding and endorsing the killing of our preborn neighbors. It’s our responsibility to move with love and compassion for the child and her mother.

Every human life has dignity and every child deserves the chance to take its first breath. No exceptions.