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GOP AGs threaten Maine over protections for trans care

GOP AGs threaten Maine over protections for trans care
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Republican attorneys general from 16 states are threatening to sue Maine if it passes a law shielding providers of gender-affirming care and abortion from out-of-state legal action.

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Maine legislators are considering a bill, Legislative Document 227, which “aims to protect health care providers from subpoenas or warrants, health records requests, extradition requests and other civil or criminal proceedings if they provide care — including abortion and gender-affirming care — that has been banned in a patient’s home state,” the Portland Press Herald reports. It would also allow these health care professionals to sue out-of-state officials who take action against them.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted similar “shield laws” regarding abortion providers, and 11 states and D.C. have such laws regarding providers of gender-affirming care.

The letter from the Republican AGs, led by Jonathan Skrmetti of Tennessee, claims that LD 227 “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.”

“LD 227’s ill-considered attempt to influence and intimidate officials in other States could also trigger a rapid tit-for-tat escalation that tears apart our Republic,” the letter continues. “One could easily envision a First Amendment Protection Act that creates state law liability for people, even people out of state, who seek to suppress purported hate speech, or a Second Amendment Protection Act that creates liability for those who seek to regulate firearms.”

“If Maine pursues LD 227’s constitutionally defective approach, we will vigorously avail ourselves of every recourse our Constitution provides,” the missive concludes.

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In addition to Skrmetti, the letter, dated Monday. is signed by AGs from Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Indiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It is addressed to Maine Gov. Janet Mills and other statewide Maine officials, all Democrats.

Lisa Margulies, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, issued a statement saying the letter highlights the need to pass LD 227. “This threat from Republican attorneys general makes clear that people opposed to safe, legal, life-saving medical care in Maine will continue their attacks with complete disregard for standard of care medicine and patient and provider needs,” she said, according to the Press Herald. “If there was any doubt that reproductive health care and care for transgender people is under attack in Maine, this threat from out-of-state actors should serve as the latest proof that Maine needs to protect our providers, our health care infrastructure and access to this care. We cannot let politicians or politically motivated attorneys general interfere with safe, legal medical care in our state.”

Recently, Maine lawmakers abandoned a bill that would have offered similar protections to individuals who come to Maine to access gender-affirming care that is banned in their home states. Anti-transgender activist Chaya Raichik had campaigned against the bill on her Libs of TikTok social media account.

The Maine legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee plans to hold a work session on LD 227 in the near future, Maine’s public broadcasting service reports.



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