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Maine Senate favors Medicaid, private coverage abortion bill

LD 820 was approved last week in the House.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate endorsed a bill Tuesday that would allow state tax dollars to be used for MaineCare funding for abortions.

Members voted 19-16 in favor after emotional debate.

LD 820 was approved last week in the House, 79-63.

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All 14 Republicans voted against the measure, as well as two Democrats: Sens. Michael Carpenter of Houlton and Bill Diamond of Windham. 

Gov. Janet Mills' administration backed the legislation, which would provide public funding of abortions for low-income women through MaineCare, Maine's Medicaid program, and require private insurance to cover.

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States can only use federal funds for abortions involving rape, incest or life endangerment, the Associated Press reports. The amended bill's fiscal note says it'd cost $375,000 annually to cover abortions through MaineCare.

LD 820 still faces procedural votes, the AP reports.

It would likely be enacted if it reaches Gov. Mills' desk.