All posts by nancy

Why This Mom Supports Abortion Rights

Note: This is the text of my talk at the Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary Event held on January 23, 2013 at the State House in Augusta.

photo credit: www.4000yearsforchoice.com

On January 22nd 1973, I was twelve years old. I am part of the first generation that came of age after the Roe v. Wade decision.

If any mention was made of Roe v. Wade in my Catholic family or my downtown Lewiston neighborhood, I didn’t notice.  My mother was too busy taking care of six children to pay much attention to what was happening beyond our community. And I was busy being a twelve year old.

But five years later – when I got pregnant just one month after high school graduation –  abortion was one of the options I considered. At the time, I wasn’t really aware that the right to a legal abortion was a relatively new option.  As we often do when we’re young, I took my rights for granted. Continue reading

Where are the Young Reproductive Rights Activists?

Maine Women's Day 2013Have you read the recent TIME magazine article by Kate Pickert about abortion rights in the United States?

Among other things, the article points out that anti-abortion forces have been successful in limiting access to abortion services all over the country.  This is not a surprise; Guttmacher recently released a disturbing report about the alarming number of abortion restrictions enacted into law in 2012. Although abortion is still legal, it has become increasingly less accessible to many, many women.

The issue of accessibility is complex and something I will address in future blog posts but today I want to talk about one focus of the TIME article that is personally bugging me. Continue reading

One Thing the November Election Didn’t Change?

The need for vigilance regarding our reproductive rights!

Roe v. Wade 40th AnniversaryThe election is over and our representatives in Augusta and Washington, D.C. are getting to work. But that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. Anti-family planning and anti-choice legislators continue their efforts to restrict a woman’s right to make her own personal life decisions.

This Salon article describes five U.S. states where anti-choice forces are still trying to deny women their constitutional rights.

We fully expect anti-choice legislators in Maine to submit bills restricting access to reproductive health care and rights during the upcoming legislative session.

Let’s send a message to the people working for us in Augusta that we Mainers cherish our right to make our own personal reproductive health decisions!

Join the FPA and the Maine Choice Coalition for:

Moving Choice Forward for ME
A Celebration & Rally for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
9:00 am — noon
Maine State House
230 State Street, Augusta

Hope to see you there!

RSVP on our Facebook event page.

Visit our becauseIhaveachoice Tumblr page

~ Nancy

Women Have a Way of “Shutting that Whole Thing Down”

The People have spoken and – wow – did they have a lot to say!

In Maine, 76% of all registered voters participated in this election and turnout was very high all across the country.  Some results we’re especially happy about are:

  • We elected a president who will nominate judges like Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to any future vacancies on the Supreme Court.
  • The incoming U.S. Senate will have a record number of female Senators, including Tammy Baldwin (WI), the first out gay member of the Senate and Mazie Hirono (HI), the first Asian American female Senator;
  • Across the country, the reprehensible anti-rape, anti-choice crowd, including Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin (MO), Richard “Gift from God” Mourdock (IN), and Joe “No such thing as life and health of the mother” Walsh (IL), were sent packing.
  • Four states – Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and MAINE!!!! – voted to grant gay and lesbian couples equal rights to civil marriage under the law.
  • Here in Maine, our pro-choice, pro-family planning majority in the legislature was strengthened, as dozens of new supporters of reproductive justice were elected to represent Maine communities in Augusta.  And we elected a strong pro-choice, pro-family planning advocate to the U.S. Senate.

Here at the Family Planning Association of Maine, we are heartened by the strong, clear statement the people of Maine and the people of the U.S. have made with their votes.  We are preparing for the days ahead in Augusta and in Washington, knowing that we have you on our side.  Onward!

~ Kate

There’s Just One More Thing to Do – Vote!

  • You’ve received a slew of emails about it…
  • You’ve had numerous conversations with friends and family on the topic…
  • And you’ve seen countless TV ads regarding the issues and people involved…

Now, there’s just one more thing to do and it’s one of the most important things any of us will do this November.

On Tuesday, November 6th, exercise your constitutional right to vote!

Need more information about the who, what, when, where and why of voting?

Here’s a down-and-dirty guide to Election 2012 online resources: Continue reading

For Me, It All Comes Down to the Judges

I don’t know about you, but the constant patter of election rhetoric has worn me out.

The campaigns, the PACs, our friends on Facebook, they’re all telling us what’s really important about this election:  it’s about The Economy, it’s about The War on Women, it’s about The Environment, it’s about The War on Terror.

Here’s a factor that few of them are talking about, but one that will make a huge difference in all of these issues and so many more — Continue reading

Be Noisy!

This week’s blog post is guest-written by a family planning supporter who shares this message she sent to everyone on her personal email list. It’s an important call to action that I hope you will share with your friends and family — most especially the young women in your life.



Hello All,

The hardest part of this coming election, for me, is the probability that we will, if more social conservatives are elected, lose much of our right to reproductive choice in this country.

I’m not sure that enough of us are thinking about this: access to contraception, birth control, family planning, sex education, reproductive health, abortion rights… and what it was like before Roe vs Wade in 1973, when it was hard for the young, the unmarried, the poor, the rural, even married people … to get contraceptive help, much less have an abortion if needed. Abortions were dangerous and hidden, whether you were not married, or already had enough children, or had a life that didn’t work with children, where a child would not be supported, or had decided not to have children at all.

Whatever your reason, you were trapped, in a situation that would affect the rest of your life and a society that would not help you.

I am afraid that many young women don’t realize how serious this threat is, that the far right has been chipping away at family planning with hostile legislation in many states, and succeeding in making it harder get contraceptives, and more and more difficult to have a safe early abortion.

Many men think it is none of their business, or not as important as the other heavy issues we are dealing with. But access to contraception, and safe abortion if that fails, is crucial to quality of life for women, the children they have, the men that care about them, their families and communities.

It matters to the whole country, in health and savings, in education and ability to earn a living, in people being better able to take care of themselves.

Please be noisy about this issue before the election, and pass this message on to whoever you can. Don’t let us lose our family planning clinics and access to reproductive choice.

Thank you,
Beedy

What I Learned from Project AWARE Teens

The premiere of the short dramatic film Two Seconds is less than three weeks away and we’re busy getting ready for the big night. As I’m pulling together this special event, I’ve been reflecting on the experience of working with a group of teens over the course of nearly a year.

When we started the project I didn’t know a single one of these young people and most of them didn’t know each other either. Ten months later I feel so lucky to have shared this time with them, working together to create movies to raise awareness of teen sexual health issues.

Here’s what I learned from the teens involved with this project… Continue reading

Where Do Teens Go For Answers?

When teens have questions about sexual health issues, where do they go for answers?

Some may turn to parents or other trusted adults in their lives.

Others will ask their friends or youngish relatives, like that cousin who’s a couple of years older.

Most rely on the internet, using Google and YouTube to search for the information they want.

Luckily for Maine teens, the FPA — with lots of input from Maine teens and young adults — has created a new online resource.

Maineteenhealth.org has useful information about birth control and STD’s. And it has links to resources about LGBTQ health, relationships, mental health, and substance abuse.

And, it’s got two ways for young people to submit their own anonymous questions – directly through the website or using a new text-messaging service.

Check it out and share it with teens you know who may have sexual health questions.

If you’re a teacher or school nurse who wants some FREE posters promoting the new website & texting service for your school, contact askmth@fpam.org with the words ‘mth poster order’ in the subject line.

If you’d rather print your own poster, click here for a PDF file.

~ Nancy

The Greatest Thing Since Birth Control

Have you been watching the political conventions?

Are you inspired by the speeches from politicians? Turned off by the commentary from pundits?

It’s easy to see these national political conventions as pageants, with no connection to the day-to-day challenges we all face.  But let’s not lose sight of the fact that these conventions and the endless campaign ads lead up to the election.

Election Day gives Maine voters an opportunity to have a real say in issues that affect us every day.

On Tuesday, November 6th (just 8 weeks away), every voter in Maine will get the opportunity to cast their vote for: Continue reading