AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Fiery debate over a invoice to guard well being care employees who present abortion and gender-affirming care…

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Fiery debate over a invoice to guard well being care employees who present abortion and gender-affirming care from out-of-state lawsuits crossed a line within the Maine House, main lawmakers to formally censure a pair of colleagues on Thursday.

Rep. Michael Lemelin, R-Chelsea, mentioned the mass capturing final October in Lewiston, Maine, that claimed 18 lives and up to date storms have been God’s revenge for “immoral” legal guidelines adopted by legislators, and he described the protect invoice as “impressed by Lucifer himself.” Another lawmaker, Rep. Shelley Rudnicki, of Fairfield, introduced that she agreed with Lemelin’s remarks.

House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross informed Lemelin in a letter that the remarks have been “extraordinarily offensive and deliberately dangerous to the victims and the households of the Lewiston tragedy, the House of Representatives, and the individuals of Maine.”

Lemelin and Rudnicki each delivered transient, an identical apologies on the House flooring, permitting them to renew their capability communicate and vote.

The Maine Senate voted 21-13 in favor of the invoice Thursday after a debate that was shorter than the tense dialogue within the House forward of a 80-70 vote in that chamber late Wednesday night. More votes are required for enactment.

Several House Republicans centered on the underlying regulation that permits minors to obtain abortions and gender-affirming care beneath sure circumstances. Critics mentioned the invoice may result in kidnapping and trafficking of out-of-state teenagers.

But Democratic Rep. Sam Zager, D-Portland, mentioned the requirements of care laid out for medical suppliers require a strong course of for whether or not somebody has gender dysphoria and is eligible for gender-affirming care.

“This will not be someone whisked away for a weekend making a declaration and having surgical procedure. It may be very deliberate and really meticulous and isn’t achieved expediently,” mentioned Zager, who’s a doctor.

The sponsor of the invoice instructed lawmakers have been getting sidetracked by emotional subjects of abortion and gender-affirming care as an alternative of specializing in Maine from out-of-state interference in its affairs. “This invoice is about our state’s sovereign capability to set and implement our legal guidelines with out interference from Texas, Tennessee or Kentucky,” mentioned Rep. Amy Kuhn, D-Falmouth.

Abortion is authorized in Maine in any respect phases of being pregnant with a health care provider’s approval. And lawmakers final yr accepted a invoice to permit 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain restricted gender-affirming care, which doesn’t embrace surgical procedure, with out parental consent.

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