Sen. Linda Sanborn introduces bill to update family planning statutes

Posted: February 25, 2019 | Health and Human Services, Senator Linda Sanborn, Uncategorized

AUGUSTA — A bill introduced by Sen. Linda Sanborn, D-Cumberland, would update Maine’s 45-year-old family planning statutes to bring them in line with current medical practices. LD 494 “An Act To Update Family Planning Statutes” received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee on Monday.

“As Maine looks to expand access to essential health care like family planning, it is important that we have laws on the books that reflect best medical practices and real, lived experiences of Maine women and men,” said Sen. Sanborn. “I believe these updates reflect our current practice and are long overdue.”

Current Maine family planning statutes apply only to physicians, instead of the various types of health care practitioners who are licensed and provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. Additionally, the statutes do not reference the wide array of services beyond birth control that are currently offered as part of family planning, such as sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment. LD 494 seeks to address these inconsistencies between the statutes and current medical practice.

Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Cumberland, also submitted testimony in favor of LD 494.

“These common sense updates acknowledge that medical practice has evolved in dramatic ways since 1973,” said Sen. Breen. “It’s time for reproductive health care to be on par with advances in other areas of medicine.”

LD 494 faces further action in the Health and Human Services Committee, as well as votes in the Maine House and Senate.