Category Archives: Women’s Health

Obamacare and You — Understanding the Affordable Care Act

Visit Healthcare.gov for answers

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The law creates major changes in how health insurance coverage works in the U.S. and who has access to insurance coverage.

The law is complex and has many different components that are being rolled out over the course of four years… and beyond.

Here at the FPA, we’re working to stay up-to-date and to fully understand the ACA so we can pass that information along to our patients, friends and supporters.

Like these important changes for women: Continue reading

Abortion in Maine — Protecting Access to a Safe, Legal Procedure

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

EC — Over the Counter, For You & Me

Good news!

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?
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

My Mom, the Abortion Care Nurse

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

Abortion and Motherhood — The Real, True Story

“There aren’t ‘women who have abortions’ and ‘women who have babies’.
Those are the same women at different points in their lives.”
~ Rachel Atkins, PA, MPH

I love this quote. It’s such a great reminder of the vast distance between the truth about abortion in the U.S. and the lies spread by the anti-choice movement.

The anti’s describe women who have abortions as selfish monsters who care only about themselves and their own lives. How are we to reconcile this hatefulness with the fact that 61% of women who have abortions in the U.S. already have at least one child. That’s right – mothers sometimes make the decision to have an abortion. 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