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

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When I was in the gallery watching the Maine Senate vote about my fundamental rights, I was concerned. I was concerned about people wanting to force their individual beliefs on policies that affect fundamental rights. I was concerned about the amount of misinformation coming from our leaders. And I was concerned at how much male representatives without medical degrees distrust medical professionals and women to make a heart-wrenching decision based on the data they received.

What they need to understand is the more difficult you make women’s health care access to begin with, the more women die. We’re already seeing this in other states in 2023 and Maine has a chance to prevent this from happening. A lot of Mainers can’t afford to fly anywhere in the world for crisis health care that we should already be receiving here.

LD 1619 is about my ability to make a deeply personal and difficult decision with my doctor about whether anyone could survive the next steps, given the medical information we have received. Pregnancies are messy and can be excruciatingly complicated. If I don’t have the ability to make a plan with my doctor, my chances of death will increase.

We can’t keep making policies that minimize a woman’s life so much that she cannot make a decision to save her own. This is why I support expanding health care access for women under LD 1619. So please write to your legislators and representatives to make sure women can survive.

Megan Marquis