AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Lawmakers began hearing testimony on three abortion-related bills, two which would restrict abortion laws, at the State House Thursday afternoon.
Before the public hearing, advocates on both sides of the issue held news conferences. Inside the state house pro-choice advocates called the bills dangerous and would erode a women's right to choose.
Outside, sponsors of the legislation say the bills are needed so women can make an informed decision before they have an abortion.
One of the bills would require parents consent to a minor seeking abortion. Opponents say only 4 percent of women who seek abortions are minors and many tell their parents before they have the procedure. Current law requires adult involvement in the decision, a law pro-choice say has worked well for 25 years.
'If a minor can't involve her parents she has to receive counseling from a licensed professional and that counseling is required by law to include a whole host of issues, including options, counseling, including the possibility of involving their parents, said Kate Brogan the Family Planning Association of Maine.
We need to enhance parental involvement when minors ask for a medical procedure, young women ought to
be afforded our full counsel and advice before making a life altering decision, said Rep. Stacey Guerin of Glenburn.
Anther bill would require doctors to give more information to women about the procedure and alternatives like adoption. Another bill would establish a fetus as a person to allow for wrongful death suits.