During the upcoming 2015 legislative session, the Maine Legislature will consider LD 83, a bill that would require minors (under 18) and adults under guardianship to get the written consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to obtain an abortion. If this feels like a rerun, that’s because it is–legislators defeated a version of the bill in 2013 and 2011, in part because it’s so out of touch with the way real Maine families work.
Maine already has an adult involvement law, and it works. For over 25 years, Maine’s adult involvement law has encouraged family involvement in a teen’s decision to seek abortion, while providing young people with the guidance and support necessary to evaluate all of the options available. The current law is a bipartisan success story–the result of a compromise between republicans and democrats, backed by organizations that support abortion rights and those that oppose them. Our state’s adult involvement law stands as a national model because it works– it truly protects and respects the health, safety, and dignity of young people. Continue reading →
Maine Family Planning believes that young people deserve accurate, non-judgmental information about reproductive health, sexuality, and their own bodies. That’s why it’s so important that our clinics offer confidential, affordable services to teens, and that MaineTeenHealth.org and AskMTH (our anonymous, free Q&A service) offer accurate, non-judgmental information. We really enjoy working with young people, and we’ve seen the difference that they can make in their communities, schools, and in the state of Maine.
This month’s Community Spotlight highlights the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN)’s Annual Youth Leadership Summit, where young people (and adults who work with them) can gain the skills and knowledge they’ll need to create healthier communities. MYAN’s mission is to partner with youth to create change in their communities; this week, we talked with them about the summit so that we could pass this opportunity along to the teens and adults who are engaged in the work of Maine Family Planning.
For thirty years, Pam Jandreau has been doing family planning work in Aroostook County. That’s right… thirty years!
Earlier this week, Pam and I talked about her family planning work experience, among other things.
How did you start working in family planning? I was taking some college classes and volunteering for the sexual assault hotline. This job came up and I applied and I fell into it. It was a great job right from the start.
What kind of work did you do before coming to family planning? In my twenties, I worked as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home. I totally enjoyed that. Then I lived in Portland for a while and worked at the Executive Inn on Congress Street. I enjoyed that too. I just love working with people.
How is working in family planning different from other health care work you’ve done?Continue reading →
Between all these Blurred Lines and a rape case where a teacher who admits to raping his (now dead by suicide) student gets sentenced to only 30 days in prison, it’s hard to imagine there are open and positive conversations happening about sex.
But they are happening! And really, they have to.
Al Vernacchio, a 12th grade high school teacher, gives us a new way to talk about sex and sexuality education that is smart, accessible, funny, and….well, delicious. Continue reading →
This week, we feature testimony given at a Judiciary Committee hearing regarding LD 1339 and LD 760 – bills that would restrict access to abortion in Maine.
These bills will come up for a vote this week, please call your legislators and ask them to reject any further restrictions to abortion services.
My name is Ruth Lockhart and I am Executive Director and Co-Founder of Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center in Bangor. We are one of only three public centers where a woman seeking an abortion in Maine can go.
I’m going to share with you how abortion care works at Mabel Wadsworth Center to dispel any myths or misconceptions about how are abortions are provided for women in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington counties. Continue reading →
In last week’s blog post highlighting Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, we described what the FPA is doing to support Maine educators and students. As the month of May comes to a close, we want to give you – trusted adults, teachers, parents and concerned community members – ideas about how you can help prevent teen pregnancy.
Maybe you’re wondering, “Me?! What can I do?”
Well, there are two words that can start you on your way – listen and talk.Continue reading →
Kathy Kerr, Teacher at Mount Blue Middle School, Farmington
So far during Teen Pregnancy Prevention month, we have taken a global, national and statewide look at teen pregnancy. Now we’re narrowing our focus even more — to the classroom level — to see what some Maine teachers and schools are doing.
FPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program works with schools and community organizations dedicated to providing youth with comprehensive sexuality education. Our program’s main goal is to strengthen the capacity of Maine educators and schools as they provide sexuality education programs that deliver positive results.
Take a look for yourself: the U.S. has much higher teen birth rates than other western,
industrialized countries and it doesn’t stop there– teen pregnancy and abortion rates are also much higher in the U.S.
On average, U.S. teens initiate sexual activity around the same age and are no more sexuality active than teens in other countries.
So, what are we, in the U.S. doing wrong?
Or to put a more positive spin on the question, what are other countries doing right? Continue reading →
Here in Maine, spring has finally sprung—the birds are singing, bees are buzzing, the trees and flowers are budding and blooming. It’s so wonderful.
All this talk about the birds and the bees has me thinking about Maine’s highly successful efforts to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy!
On May 1, 2013, the FPA joins organizations across the country to recognize the 12th annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The purpose of the National Day is to focus the attention of teens and their parents on the value of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood. How are we doing that? Continue reading →