Groups want trial to allow non-doctors to perform abortions

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and a group of abortion providers say a federal court should allow a trial on whether to strike down a 40-year-old Maine law that prevents non-doctors from performing abortions.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood were in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday to make that argument. Attorneys for the state of Maine have requested a summary judgment to dismiss the case. If successful, it could ultimately expand access to abortion in the rural state by allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to perform them.

The court case is playing out while recently elected Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is also hoping to expand Maine’s list of abortion providers.

It’s unknown when Judge Nancy Torresen will issue a ruling about the request for summary judgment.

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