Maine is considering a bill that would establish “a legal right” to abortion and surgical sex changes, blocking clinicians who carry out the procedures from facing legal penalties. 

On Tuesday afternoon, opponents and supporters of the bill packed into the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services hearing room to give their public comments. The hearing lasted more than six hours, and the bill is expected to go through more hurdles before potentially reaching a floor vote in the coming weeks. 

The bill, known as LD 227, would prohibit “interference” with abortion or sex change procedures, legally protect medical workers from facing lawsuits, and could potentially permit concealment of medical records from plaintiffs seeking legal action against a provider. 

16 AGS SLAM YOUTUBE FOR ADDING ‘OBJECTIVELY UNTRUTHFUL’ CONTEXT DISCLAIMER ON ABORTION VIDEO

Republicans opposing the bill caution that it might inadvertently allow for the “kidnapping” of adolescents in states that have heavier restrictions to undergo these procedures if they are taken across state borders to Maine.

“Interference with that right is against state policy, and so that means interference, no matter who that interference might be — even a parent interfering — they don’t have a right to interfere because access to these services are legal,” Republican Rep. Laurel Libby told Fox News Digital in an interview Wednesday. 

If litigation in another state deters individuals from accessing their rightful services or assisting others in doing so, it’s deemed hostile and can prompt legal action, Libby added. 

“So, the idea is that Maine would essentially be a sanctuary state right for all abortion and transgender medical care. And so, yes, there would be no recourse through the courts,” she said.

FRANCE ENSHRINES ABORTION AS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT IN WAKE OF DOBBS RULING, ACTIVISTS DECLARE ‘A VICTORY’

There are currently at least 23 states that restrict or ban transgender surgical procedures for minors. Proponents of the bill in Maine, including Planned Parenthood, argue it will provide much needed protection for medical providers in the state.

“This bill is fundamentally about access to health care,” Lisa Margulies, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said during Tuesday’s hearing. “And resisting the devastating impacts of health care restrictions enacted by other states, and those are enacted not for medical reasons, but for political reasons.”

Margulies went on to describe actions taken by lawmakers to restrict abortion care in other states “extremists.”

“We can provide our own legal standards of care, we can do our own criminal prosecutions,” she said. 

Patience Crozier, a director for the LGBTQ+ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) organization, suggested restrictive laws in other states against the procedures are “really horrible attacks on transgender people.”

“I think, in Maine, where reproductive and transgender health care is legal, this bill is really important to state the values of Maine and make sure that we’re protecting our providers from those attacks from other states,” Crozier said.

PRO-CHOICE OBGYNS CRITICIZE FETAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEO FOR SEX ED CLASSES: ‘LAST THING KIDS NEED TO BE WATCHING’

But several Republicans remain concerned the 21-page bill provides a loophole for kids seeking these procedures to get a ride from someone else other than their parents if they do not approve of the child’s decision and repeatedly brought it up during the hearing.

“It is extreme in its assault on family values,” Republican state Rep. Josh Morris said. “It sanctions kidnapping and shields doctors from any consequences.”

This month, the American Psychological Association (APA) urged licensed psychologists to support “unobstructed access to evidence-based clinical care for transgender, gender-diverse, and nonbinary children, adolescents, and adults” in a resolution. 

“Evidence-based clinical care, including gender-affirming care, should be noncoercive, adaptive to and centered on the needs of the individual receiving care, and rooted in psychological and clinical science, including recognition of gender diversity as a part of normal human diversity as well as recognition of limits in the current state of scientific knowledge,” the policy read.

The APA also encouraged all licensed psychologists to “unite” against the spread of “misinformation” about surgical and non-surgical transgender treatments