Maine Governor’s Veto of Women’s Health Bill Sustained by Legislature


A bill that would have ensured access to preventive health services for nearly 14,000 low-income women in Maine was vetoed by the governor this week. Despite having passed the bill with broad bipartisan support, the state legislature failed to override the governor’s veto during a special session on Thursday.

The session was called so legislators could reconsider at least 48 of Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes, which Democratic leaders said were being overused as a campaign tool. LePage has vetoed a record-breaking 182 bills since he took office in 2011.

The proposal to expand Medicaid coverage of family planning services, LD 1247, failed to gain the two-thirds of votes in the state house necessary to override the governor’s veto. The vote was 90 in favor of an override and 55 against.

The expansion would have provided coverage of cancer screenings, well-woman exams, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual health information for women who make less than $23,000 a year for a household of one. The governor said that women could receive this coverage by signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, while opponents argued that the state would receive $9 from the federal government for every dollar it spent, and that 30 other states have seen a significant reduction in unintended pregnancies after implementing similar plans.

“Governor Paul LePage put his own personal beliefs over women’s health when he vetoed this important measure,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • Ivy Mike

    My wife is a hardcore Mainer, as are her whole family. They are one and all completely embarrassed by this clown. Her father, a man who loves to discuss various political things, cannot bear to talk about LePage.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      How did LePage get elected?

      • Ivy Mike

        He ran in a three-way race, getting 38% of the vote. His runner-up, an Independent, got 36% and the Democrat got 19%. He ran as a “businessman” who would “get government off the backs of the people” and was heavily backed by the Tea Party. His general insanity did not become known until after the election. Check wikipedia for some of his antics in office.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          It’s hard for voters when a candidate successfully hides his nuttiness during the campaign. My sympathy to the state of Maine.

  • Marlowe53

    Maine makes a lot of its income from tourists and vacationers. Most vacations are planned by women. Clearly, a majority of Mainers voted for this guy and the Republicans who are supporting him. I know that I won’t be spending a dime in Maine until they get rid of this man who thinks that women and children (he supports overturning child labor laws) are second-class citizens.