PORTLAND, Maine — On Saturday, women and allies in cities across the country gathered to hold more than 600 rallies for abortion justice. In Portland, hundreds gathered in Congress Square Park to show their support. The event was organized by Women's March and Planned Parenthood with additional support from more than 100 organizations.
People gathered to protest the recent law that went into effect in Texas on September 1, banning abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy. It does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and it encourages private citizens to sue those who don't abide by it.
Susan Johnston, a volunteer at Planned Parenthood, said the issue of abortion hits close to home. At 17-years-old, she was living in New Jersey when she found out she was pregnant. Johnston said she needed an abortion, but it was still illegal in the U.S. at the time. She was able to find a doctor in Pennsylvania who safely provided abortions to women who needed them.
Angus King is a co-sponsor of the Senate's version of the Women's Health Protection Act. Senator Susan Collins said she supports codifying roe v. Wade but thinks the House bill goes too far.
In a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine, Collins said:
"Unfortunately, the bill that the House Democrats have drafted goes way beyond codifying Roe. For example, their legislation would severely weaken protections afforded to health care providers who refuse to perform abortions on religious or moral grounds."
It's still unclear when the Senate will vote on the legislation.