Maine Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a news conference on Jan. 17, 2023, in Augusta. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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I want to applaud Gov. Janet Mills and members of the Maine Legislature for the bold and compassionate bills for abortion access being put forward. States across the country have passed bills severely restricting or banning the procedure. Maine can and should be different.

Our laws should respect the most intimate decision between the pregnant person, their family and their doctor. A number of bills were heard in committees Monday, including bills to remove barriers in private insurance for abortion coverage, protecting our doctors and health care workers providing the procedures from being prosecuted by people in other states, and removing the gestational age for the procedure, which allows this incredibly difficult decision to be available for the pregnant person.

Abortion care is health care and should be treated as such. There will be a lot of vitriol from anti-abortion fronts as the bills are heard. They look to spread misinformation and ignore the individuals who seek the procedure, especially those later in pregnancy. Abortion is a private health care decision and should be accessible to those who need one.

As the legislative session continues, it is crucial that those who support full reproductive access contact their representatives. We need to be loud and speak on the importance of keeping abortion accessible by making sure it is covered by insurance and locally available. I have never regretted my abortion and have been thankful that the procedure was accessible when I needed it. Others deserve an accessible experience as well.

Aislinn Canarr