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Abortion Amendment Disqualified from Maine 2024 Election Ballot

A proposed constitutional amendment allowing abortion until birth in Maine was disqualified from the November ballot this week after it failed to gain enough votes in the state Legislature.

Though the amendment proposal received a majority of votes this week — 75-65 in the House and 20-13 in the Senate — it failed to reach the required two-thirds supermajority in either body to be added to the ballot.

If it had reached the required supermajority, the “Protect Personal Reproductive Autonomy” amendment proposal would have been included in Maine voters’ November ballot.

Maine citizens would have been asked to vote yes or no on the question: “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that every person has a right to personal reproductive autonomy?”

If passed by voters, the amendment would have altered the state constitution to declare that Maine “may not deny or infringe on the right to personal reproductive autonomy,” unless the denial or infringement “is justified by a compelling state interest” and “is accomplished using the means that least denies or infringes” on that “right.”

The amendment would have further expanded abortion in what is already one of the most permissive states in the union. Abortion is currently legal in Maine until viability; it is further permitted after viability if deemed necessary by a physician.

According to the Maine Division of Public Health Systems’ most recent data, there were 2,225 abortions in the state in 2022, up from 1,915 in 2021.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Portland, Maine, told CNA that the diocese is “grateful” that the required two-thirds of the Legislature “did not cooperate with this attack on the dignity of human life.”

In a strongly worded condemnation of the amendment issued earlier this year, Bishop Robert Deeley of Portland called it “immoral and unnecessary.”

“This is a political attempt to distract from the heinous law passed last June that eliminated any restrictions for abortion,” Deeley said. “A change to the constitution to promote abortion on demand will affect unborn children who cannot speak for themselves but will suffer the ultimate price.”

Daniel Schmid, an attorney for the national religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel, told CNA that the measure’s defeat is a “positive step forward for Maine because they’re fairly progressive in their abortion laws.”

“I think it’s always a good day when an amendment is defeated that would have otherwise legalized abortion at all stages,” he said.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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