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 moved to Maine five years ago, and I have been so proud of the compassion and willingness to help people have shown me. I want to help return the same by expressing my support of LD 1619.

Today in Maine, we have people suffering from their lack of medical care in one of the most critical times in their lives. Traumatized families who wanted to have children are forced to cross state lines to potentially save their lives, and then must pay thousands of dollars in travel on top of that. Events that should have been joyous can turn to horror when a pregnancy does not go well.

We have the highest maternal mortality rate out of any industrialized nation, and we should not stand for it. As Mainers, we should have compassion for those who are going through a tough time, and support systems that allow people to make their own choices. In no civilized world should we criminalize a medical procedure, and unfortunately, we need laws to protect our medical professionals.

I support LD 1619 so that families are not cruelly subjected to debt in a time of tragedy for them, so that mothers have a greater chance to live, as their lives are also precious, and so our medical professionals can make decisions on behalf of their patients without concern of being called a criminal for trying to heal another.

Amelia McDonald-Johnson