Category Archives: Legislative Advocacy

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation: SCOTUS Edition

The Supreme Court of the United States is officially on summer vacation, after issuing a number of rulings (and non-rulings), that have social, economic and health implications for Mainers and for the country. A few of these are of particular interest to the Reproductive Justice movement.

So what happened this week, and what does it mean? Continue reading

Increasing Health Coverage for Maine Women & Families

Understanding the many different components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be a daunting task. This week, I’d like to share some important information about federal funds for expanding health coverage.

Thankfully, the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Maine Equal Justice Partners have thoroughly researched this topic and recently published a report on the impact for Maine of accepting federal dollars for health coverage.

The report concludes that:

Maine has an opportunity to cover more people and save millions of dollars currently spent to treat uninsured people in emergency rooms. We can do this by accepting federal dollars to provide health coverage to approximately 69,500 uninsured Mainers. This decision is in the hands of Maine’s legislature and governor. It will have important consequences for Maine’s economy and people.

I encourage you to read the full report. In the meantime, here are some of the main points. Continue reading

Exposed — The 5 Most Common Lies about Abortion

We see it all the time, right outside the gates of our Augusta health center.

Anti-choice protesters spend enormous amounts of time and energy spreading lies about abortion care services. At the FPA, we prefer to focus on the truth — backed up by decades of research in the field.

Here’s the truth about five of the most common lies about abortion. Continue reading

Think it Can’t Happen in Maine? Think Again.

It’s happening all over the country – and it’s happening here in Maine, too.

Every day we hear about another attempt to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care somewhere in America – a 12-week abortion ban in Arkansas… elimination of family planning funding in Texas… forced ultrasounds in Virginia.  It’s clear that the groups working to deny us control over our reproductive lives have decided that state legislatures are the new battlegrounds for the War on Women.

But they can’t make any headway here in Maine, right?  Maine’s legislature and Maine’s voters have always supported reproductive privacy, right?  I mean, we defeated anti-choice bills two years ago, even with a large number of strongly anti-choice legislators.

Reproductive rights are safe in Maine, right?  

Wrong. Continue reading

Young Women ARE Paying Attention

photo courtesy: wabi.tv

Note: This is the text of a speech given at the Roe v. Wade Anniversary Event held at the State House in Augusta.

I was born in 1987. By the time I even considered becoming sexually active Roe v. Wade had been the law of the land for over 30 years.

I come from a middle class, loving, supportive, pro-choice family.  I tell you this because not only I have had the legal right to choose my entire life but it has also always been an accessible choice for me.

Due to the amazing work of the feminist movements that came before me, I was taught, as a girl, I could do anything.  The things I wanted to be when I grew up ranged from a chemist to a teacher to a pilot.  I was free to be who I am and become what whatever I wanted.

As a young adult I began to understand that there were people in the world that did not have the same rights as me AND I started to realize that there were powerful people and institutions out there who did not want me to have the freedom I felt entitled to. Continue reading

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

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