Last week, Monica Simpson came to Maine to speak to staff, community partners, and supporters of Maine Family Planning. Simpson is the Executive Director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a network of over 80 organizations representing women and communities of color. These organizations have been working to shift the conversation around choice and access by fostering discussion about the ways in which people’s identities, communities, and government intersect to influence women’s ability to make decisions about their own bodies and families. Twenty years ago, they named this framework Reproductive Justice.
Reproductive Justice (RJ) recognizes that the right to have or not have children and the right to parent in safe and healthy environments are human rights–and demands that governments and society ensure that legal, family, and community conditions support these decisions. People need to be able to make these choices and access services safely and affordably–otherwise, they aren’t real choices.
We find enormous value in the Reproductive Justice framework, and we were inspired and invigorated by Monica’s visit.
In many ways, we are working to address some of the primary tenets of Reproductive Justice. Continue reading
Once in awhile they let me out of my fundraising office and unleash me on the unsuspecting public. This week’s blog isn’t about specific policies or politics or programs– but it IS about easy ways to support Maine Family Planning. Please don’t delete me. Read on!
First, for the first time ever we’re participating in #GivingTuesday on December 2nd. As the #GivingTuesday website states:
“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” Continue reading
Maine Family Planning has always been a place where anyone can access affordable health care, regardless of insurance status. While we do accept both private and public insurance, many of the women and men who seek care with us are uninsured. In fact, we’re often one of the only health centers that those without health insurance can afford to visit.
Reproductive care is essential health care, and the ability to decide whether and when to have children is crucial for economic security, educational attainment, and for safe and healthy families. But as important as reproductive health care is, it’s not the only kind of care that people need. That’s why Maine Family Planning will be available to help our patients and their families enroll in affordable health insurance plans– we want our patients to be covered for ALL of their healthcare needs.
Open enrollment in Marketplace Insurance Plans starts November 15th, 2014 and remains open until February 15, 2015. For those who don’t have health insurance, this is the time to sign up for coverage, and Maine Family Planning is here to help.
Election day is finally here—and we’re asking you to (please!) get out there and vote today!
We voted! Look at all this gorgeous democracy.
Find out where your polling place is HERE. All polling places in Maine are open NOW, and will stay open until 8:00 tonight. If you’re in line to vote at 8:00, you will be able to vote.If you’re at least 18 and a U.S. citizen, YOU CAN VOTE TODAY! Thousands of people across the country are being denied the right to vote today because of unfair laws meant to suppress their voices. Millions more around the world don’t even have the right to vote. You do. We are lucky to live in a state that has great voting laws that support everyone’s right to vote. Use that right, and make your voice heard.
Here are some things to take with you, just to be safe: Continue reading
Are you registered to vote? Or maybe you’ve registered in the past, but not in the town where you currently live? Not to worry. Maine has great laws to make voter registration easy and make sure you can vote. Here’s what you need to know:
Any U.S. citizen who is at least 18 and lives in Maine can register to vote. You can register at your town office, through any Motor Vehicle branch office, in most state and federal social service agencies, any time before Election Day, or you can register on Election Day at your polling place.
What do I need to register to vote? Continue reading
After months of campaign ads and endless polls, Election day is almost here. It’s time to get down to it: It’s time to vote.
To put it simply: Women need to vote. YOU need to vote. When women vote, change happens. 53% of voters in the 2012 election were women. Think of that power! We aren’t a voting bloc, we’re the majority. More specifically, single women are the most important voting group in this election – we make up 25% of eligible voters, and we consistently vote in support of reproductive rights. Want to know how powerful we are? Conservatives are so worried about our political power, Fox News is suggesting that single women skip voting and “go back to Tinder and Match.com.”
That’s why YOU need to vote. And to encourage your friends and family to vote. If we all show up and vote next week, we will decide this election. Continue reading
So, you’re ready, you’re fired up, you’re going to cast your vote for the candidates who will bring your values to the halls of government!
But first you have to learn enough about the candidates to know which ones you want to vote for.
Maine’s newspaper web sites are a great place to start. They all have comprehensive on-line voter guides, with information about all of the races and ballot measures. Enter your address and see all of the candidates and questions that will appear on your ballot. Click on a candidate’s name and the candidate’s answers to the paper’s candidate survey. There’s a lot of information out there, so much it can be overwhelming. You’ve probably OD’d on campaign commercials and social media messages about the races for Governor, U.S. Senate and Congress. But do you really know where the candidates stand on issues that are important to you? How do you find out about the important legislative candidates who will appear on your ballot? It’s time for a little research. Continue reading
This is it, folks, one week before Election Day, when Maine voters will elect a governor, a U.S. Senator, 2 members of Congress, 35 State Senators and 151 State legislators, not to mention votes on local officials, bond issues and the ballot question on bear baiting. Are you ready? Ready to see your favorite candidate’s victory celebration? Ready to see the end of campaign ads and automated phone calls? We are, too. This is a big one, people. We have to make sure our voices are heard and we contribute to electing a government that will respect us.
Maine Family Planning wants to make sure you know everything you need to know to cast your vote. No excuses. Get out there. That’s why every day between now and election day, we’ll be posting information about voting in Maine. How to find your polling place; what to do if you’re temporarily living away from home (like on campus); how to find out what’s going to be on your ballot, and how to figure out which candidates YOU want to vote for.
And today, HOW TO VOTE EARLY:
Not going to be around next Tuesday? Don’t want to wait in line? Just want to cross voting off your list? You can vote NOW, TODAY, by requesting an absentee ballot. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law which compels California universities to use an “affirmative consent” standard when investigating campus sexual assaults. As Amanda Hess from Slate explains:
This means that during an investigation of an alleged sexual assault, university disciplinary committees will have to ask if the sexual encounter met a standard where both parties were consenting, with consent defined as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.” Notice that the words “verbal” or “stone sober” are not included in that definition. The drafters understand, as most of us do when we’re actually having sex, that sometimes sexual consent is nonverbal and that there’s a difference between drunk, consensual sex and someone pushing himself on a woman who is too drunk to resist.
Predictably, there was some concern about whether the state should be involved in the sex lives of college students. Continue reading
Here’s the scenario: you’re on a date with someone new, and it feels like the two of you will be headed towards the bedroom soon. Once you’re in the heat of the moment, neither of you have protection (you haven’t visited a Maine Family Planning clinic in a while). You’re conflicted. But you make the decision to follow through with it because your new crush doesn’t seem worried about not practicing safe sex. The next morning, you wake up wishing you had listened to that nagging voice in your head–you wish you had made a different decision and now you’re feeling badly about ignoring your instincts.
Have you ever been here? So many of us have. Often times, we ignore our instincts and gut-feelings because our boundaries–our ‘yeses’ and ‘nos’– weren’t particularly clear to ourselves in the first place. Boundaries are nuanced; they change all of the time–depending on our mood, our current feelings, and the situation. Continue reading