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Maine House votes to allow more medical professionals to perform abortions

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) -- Maine's House of Representatives has passed a bill that would expand the number of medical professionals allowed to perform abortions in the state.

In addition to physicians, the bill would allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses with proper training to perform the procedure.

The bill passed 74-58 on Tuesday and will next head to the state Senate.

The measure is similar to 2013 legislation in California that allows physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives to perform abortions with specialized training.

Maine's effort to make abortion more accessible comes as some states are implementing legislation to limit access to abortions.

Lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi have passed anti-abortion measures in recent weeks.

The laws are likely to face numerous legal challenges. A Kentucky bill was already blocked by a federal judge.

11 more states have proposed similar legislation.

Legislation restricting abortion has been met with protests, and several other states have worked to increase access.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Assembly passed a bill to no longer require physicians to tell women the "emotional implications" of an abortion or certify in writing the woman's marital status, age and written consent.

And in January, New York passed a bill to remove abortion from the state's criminal code and maintain access even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.

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