What a week it’s been!
Unable to come to an agreement on the budget, the U.S. government shutdown for the first time since 1995.
Despite opposition from conservatives, the new Health Insurance Marketplace opened and millions of uninsured Americans visited healthcare.gov to learn how they might get insurance coverage.
And the Guttmacher Institute released a terrific new video about the importance of Federal Title X Funding for Family Planning services.
Here are five reasons why I believe this new video is very much worth watching all the way through and sharing widely.
Yesterday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order denying the federal government’s request to stay a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to make emergency contraception(EC) available over the counter, without age restrictions.
What this means for you and me — our sisters, daughters, friends, etc… — is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to comply with a previous court order and allow emergency contraception such as Plan B to be sold on store shelves, just like aspirin and other over-the-counter medications.
Why is this such good news?
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
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
Our guest blogger reflects on having a mother who works as an abortion care nurse.
My mother didn’t always provide abortion care.
For decades, she was a nurse at the local hospital, providing care in both the Pediatric and Labor & Delivery units. She dressed in kid-friendly scrubs, covered with happy cartoon animals and bright splashes of color. She would often bring home crayon drawings that her young patients made for her.
At home, my mom maintained an extensive collection of first aid goodies. Anytime there was a bee-sting, bloody knee, tummy bug or sore throat, my dad would exclaim “Call the nurse!”– and there would be my mom, with her tool box of ointments, syrups, bandages, and instruments to really, truly make it better. That woman would make you a gingerale-slushy and a couch-bed that could make any flu bearable.
This woman was a soother of sick kids, a comfort to new moms and a support to families in true need of help and encouragement. She loved working with those kids and she adored caring for newborns and their moms. When she left her job at the hospital and, just a few years later, began working as an abortion care nurse, I wondered. Huh, I thought– what a stark contrast to what she was doing before. But I was wrong. Continue reading
We are now 17 days into the “40 Days” protest.
Since February 13th, patients at our Augusta health center have had to pass the gauntlet of protesters just to get their health care needs met.
The 40 Days website claims the protests are dedicated to “prayer and fasting… peaceful vigil… community outreach.” As someone who was raised in a church-going family, those words appeal to me. I have family members who continue to profess their Christian faith by attending church regularly and doing things like visiting nursing home patients and donating money to charity. They live good, solid lives of faith and truth and mercy. They have my utmost respect.
At no time has any one of my family members tried to harass another person into following their beliefs, wielding their religion like a weapon to hurt others.
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
The need for vigilance regarding our reproductive rights!
The 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
By now, you’ve probably heard the astonishing comments about rape and abortion made by Congressman Todd Akin (R-Missouri).
Akin, a long-time opponent of abortion rights, is running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. When asked on local TV about whether he thinks women who have been raped should be able to access abortion, Akin said, “It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
That’s right. According to Representative Akin, a woman’s body can tell the difference between sperm from a rapist and sperm from consensual sex, and can “shut that whole thing down.” Which means, of course, if a woman says she became pregnant as a result of rape, she must be lying. And if you’re trying to outlaw abortion, there’s no need to provide for an exception for rape survivors, because survivors of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant.
Politicians of all persuasions have expressed outrage at Akin’s statements. And they’re right. This is outrageous.
But here’s what’s really troubling — Akin didn’t just make this stuff up on his own. When you look at what’s happened in Congress over the past two years, you’ll see that Todd Akin isn’t the renegade crackpot his party is making him out to be, he’s in the mainstream of the conservative majority in Congress. Continue reading
photo credit: www.wearewomenmarch.net
August 1, 2012 — The date is significant for women and their families throughout the United States.
Today, an important provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect.
As of today all new private health insurance plans must cover women’s preventive health services without a co-pay.
What preventive services does this include? Continue reading