PORTLAND, Maine — Former Republican Gov. Paul Lepage, who’s searching for his previous job again, mentioned he would veto a invoice banning abortions at 15 weeks, delivering disappointing information to abortion opponents.
Lepage offered solutions in a painstaking trade Tuesday night throughout the first debate of the gubernatorial race with present Democratic Governor Janet Mills and Impartial Sam Hunkler.
Mills is an outspoken supporter of abortion rights, and Democrats have attacked LePage on the difficulty, searching for to energise voters after the Supreme Courtroom overturned the constitutional proper to abortion.
LePage, who has usually prevented the difficulty, mentioned throughout the debate that he helps present state legislation that bans abortion after a fetus is viable outdoors the womb at round 24 weeks.
However when pressured by Mills and moderators, he answered “sure” and nodded when requested if he would veto a invoice banning abortions earlier than 15 weeks.
Karen Vachon, government director of Males’s Proper to Life, mentioned Wednesday she was dissatisfied by LePage’s response. “It is extremely disturbing that he is not going to help the ban after 15 weeks,” she mentioned.
PHOTOS: Republican Lepage says he’ll veto 15-week abortion ban
Democrats are attacking LePage after the US Supreme Courtroom dominated that abortion has no constitutional proper, permitting states to determine the difficulty on their very own. Maine’s abortion legislation went into impact in 1993.
As governor, Lepage, who had been raised as a Roman Catholic, participated in a “Fingers Across the Capital” occasion protesting the Supreme Courtroom’s Roe v Wade choice legalizing abortion.
However abortion by no means raised as a political challenge throughout LePage’s two phrases. He’s now searching for to oust Mills in one in all a dozen or so aggressive gubernatorial races throughout the nation.
It is a thorny matter.
In Arizona, a spokeswoman needed to make clear remarks made by the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, Kari Lake, as a result of she mentioned abortion have to be “uncommon and protected” earlier than it may be “uncommon and authorized.” The spokeswoman mentioned Lake is just not calling for adjustments to abortion legal guidelines after a decide dominated that prosecutors may impose a near-complete ban on abortion.
Throughout an trade of debate in Maine, LePage insisted that he had little interest in pressuring a invoice to limit or prohibit abortion, however that lawmakers may act on their very own. Democrats presently management each chambers.
Mills has repeatedly said that she helps protecting abortion authorized in Maine. “My veto pen will stand in the way in which of any restrictions on abortion rights,” Mills mentioned Tuesday night.
Whereas Lepage mentioned he helps the present legislation, he mentioned he opposes taxpayer-funded abortion, which implies he opposes abortions offered by way of the state’s MenCare program.
On a unique matter, LePage was requested whether or not he thought of the election of President Joe Biden official. LePage, who had beforehand expressed considerations about voter fraud, answered sure. The three candidates additionally mentioned that they’d settle for the leads to November.
The talk was sponsored by the Portland Press Herald, Solar Journal and Maine Public. The candidates tackled points together with inflation and the economic system, the state’s opioid disaster, and schooling.
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