". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Maine Dems Face Backlash over Transgender/Abortion Tourism Bill

March 12, 2024

Democrats in the Pine Tree State are quietly reintroducing legislation to prevent parents from protecting their children against abortion and transgenderism. LD 227 was introduced in the Maine state legislature as a “concept draft” containing only two lines under the title, “An Act Regarding Health Care in the State,” but less than a week before the Maine House of representatives hosted a hearing on the bill, Democrats replaced the “concept draft” with a lengthy amendment, according to Maine Wire. The amendment would make gender transition procedures and late-term abortions a “legal right,” block “interference” against these “rights” from parents of minors, and allow those affected by “hostile litigation” in other states to sue those states in Maine.

The amended LD 227 contains three main stipulations:

  1. “Access to gender-affirming health care services and reproductive health care services in this State, as authorized under the laws of this State, is a legal right.”
  1. “Whether or not under the color of law, interference with legally protected health care activity and interference with aiding and assisting legally protected health care activity is against the public policy of this State.”
  1. “Any public act of another state that prohibits, criminalizes, sanctions, authorizes a person to bring a civil action against or otherwise interferes with a person in this State who engages in legally protected health care activity or who aids or assists in legally protected health care activity: A. Interferes with the exercise and enjoyment of the rights secured by this State; and B. Is against the public policy of this State.”

The remaining text of the amendment clarifies that Maine would protect those performing gender transition procedures and committing abortions — as well as those who “aid and assist” in those procedures — from prosecution under the laws of other states and allow those impacted by gender transition restrictions or pro-life measures in other states to sue those states in Maine.

A coalition of 16 Republican attorneys general wrote a letter Monday to Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) and other state officials, warning that LD 227 represents a “totalitarian impulse to stifle dissent and oppress dissenters” and could end up destroying the United States. “While it is extremely unusual for States to interject themselves into another State’s lawmaking, LD 227’s unique constitutional transgressions merit our comment,” the AGs wrote. They continued to note that the legislation “seeks to contravene the lawful policy choices of our States’ citizens by imposing on the rest of the country Maine’s views on hotly debated issues such as gender transition surgeries for children” and “violates the United States Constitution and flouts the federalist structure that allows each of our States to engage in self-government responsive to the will of our citizens.”

Classifying LD 227 as a “novel effort at state-sanctioned culture war litigation tourism,” the AGs also warned that the legislation could “trigger a rapid tit-for-tat escalation that tears apart our Republic,” prompting various states to enact laws targeting and undermining the laws of other states. “In America, we have the right to disagree,” the Republican lawyers wrote. “Maine has every right to decide what Maine’s laws are and how those laws should be enforced. But that same right applies to every State. One State cannot control another.” They concluded, “If Maine pursues LD 227’s constitutionally defective approach, we will vigorously avail ourselves of every recourse our Constitution provides.”

The amended LD 227 also allows for third parties to sue those who “interfere” with gender transition procedures, including gender transition procedures for minors. Critics have warned that the legislation’s provision would mean that pro-LGBT school staff, for example, could sue parents for requesting that their child be referred to by his biological pronouns. “Given the release of the WPATH files, it’s totally irresponsible for legislators anywhere to pursue medical sex change procedures for children and to do so behind parents’ backs. It’s just horrific,” Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon told The Washington Stand. “Maine Democratic Party legislators seem completely devoted to sexual special interest pressure groups rather than everyday Maine voters.”

Maine House Republican Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham declared in a press conference, “LD 227 is the most disgusting and vile bill ever seen before in the Maine legislature.” He asked, “Does it sound like I’m repeating myself from a couple weeks ago? That’s because I am.” In January, the Maine House Judiciary Committee rejected LD 1735, which was almost identical to the amended LD 227 but without any provisions regarding abortion. Faulkingham added, “This is the same bill that was before Judiciary that got killed unanimously that’s now back before a different committee.”

At a public hearing last week, LD 227 was harshly criticized by members of the public and Republican legislators. Faulkingham cautioned that the bill’s provisions would “make our state a destination for child trafficking, kidnapping, and sex trafficking.” Representative Reagan Paul (R) stated, “This bill could actually enable reproductive coercion and crimes against pregnant women, and remove any recourse they might have if they are injured by an abortion procedure.” Members of the public expressed similar concerns, with many also noting the “manipulative” introduction of the amendment to LD 227.

As of time of publication, the Maine state legislature’s website still does not feature the amended text of LD 227 — a week after the bill’s public hearing.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.