Advocacy

 

Maine Family Planning is working for YOUR RIGHTS.  

Check this page regularly for updates on bills & issues of public policy that we are tracking & advocating around, as well as ways to take action! Maine Family Planning utilizes a Reproductive Justice framework for our legislative, advocacy & organizing work, which means we engage on issues and policies that relate--in positive and negative ways--to the following three core principles of Reproductive Justice:

1) The right to not have children.

2) The right to have children.

3) The right to parent children in healthy & safe environments.

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JOIN OUR SIDEWALK PICKET PARTY!

Read our statement on the Senate proposed plan here.


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BILLS MFP IS TRACKING DURING THE 128th LEGISLATIVE SESSION

We encourage MFP supporters to contact your local lawmakers about these items

UPDATE 6/23:  This bill was voted down in the House for a *second time*, and now goes back to the Senate next week, where it is likely to die in nonconcurrence.

  • LD 327, An Act to Allow a Wrongful Death Cause of Action for the Death of a Viable Fetus, sponsored by Representative Ellie Espling 
    • MFP Analysis:  This is essentially a "fetal personhood" bill that opens the door to granting fetuses rights & legal causes of action. We oppose this bill on the grounds that it threatens abortion rights and reproductive autonomy of pregnant people; places unnecessary barriers between pregnant people seeking prenatal care & providers trying to manage enormous libaility; and is aligned with a broad social agenda led by anti-abortion activists to curtail reproductive freedom.

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UPDATE:  This bill became law without the governor's signature! An important victory for contraceptive access in our state!

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UPDATE: This bill is DEFEATED!

    • MFP Analysis:  LD 1556 would require prenatal care providers to report patients to child protective services if the patient is dealing with substance abuse. Medical experts on women’s health, drug treatment, and neonatal care all say that this bill would deter women from getting much-needed prenatal care and drug treatment, leading to more unhealthy pregnancies and more unhealthy babies.

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  • LD  1607, An Act to Prioritize Family Members as Surrogates for Medical Decisions, a governor's bill presented by Representative Hawke of Boothbay Harbor (Public hearing occurred; committee has not yet voted)
    • MFP Analysis:  This bill seeks to undermine the medical decision-making power of adult couples who are not married. The effects would be felt especially hard by LGBTQ+ Mainers. MFP opposes passage of this bill on the grounds that it targets the sexual and gender autonomy of Maine people, and prioritizes legal marriage and blood relation over other forms of coupling & family-making.

 

  • LD 745, An Act to Prohibit Female Genital Mutilation, sponsored by Representative Sirocki (Public hearing already occurred)
    • MFP Analysis:  We are working with partners--the ACLU of Maine and the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine--to monitor how this bill is rolled out. We are concerned about choices to further criminalize immigrant populations in Maine, and would like to see provisions for public outreach & education efforts around this issue.
  • LD 1063, An Act to Protect Substance-Exposed Infants, sponsored by Representative Hamman
    • MFP Analysis:  We want to make sure that parents are given all the resources they need--including addiction treament--in order to keep families together, whole, and healthy. We believe our concerns for infant & child well-being are best reflected in policies that meet the needs of parents as well.
  • LD 1267, An Act to Protect Licensing Information of Medical Professionals, sponsored by Senator Katz
    • MFP Analysis:  Abortion care & family planning providers sometimes face hostile, targeted attacks by anti-abortion advocates and vigilantes. We believe in protecting the privacy & safety of such providers and their families.
  • LD 1475, An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Investing in the Future of Maine Families, sponsored by Speaker Gideon (Public Hearing occurred on May 8th)
    • MFP Analysis: We know that systemic poverty is a fundamental barrier to reproductive freedom & raising healthy, whole families. We encourage MFP supporters to attend the public hearing and/or contact your local legislators to voice your support for this important step toward bringing crucial resources to the most economically vulnerable members of our communities.
    • This bill is a priority of the Alliance for Maine Women, of which MFP is a proud member, and you can learn more about it by reading this helpful analysis put together by Alliance member organization, Maine Equal Justice Partners. 

 

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WHAT'S GOING ON WITH TITLE X  FAMILY PLANNING FUNDING?

Thursday, March 30, 2017: Vice President Mike Pence made the following statement at the White House Panel on Women’s Empowerment, “President Trump and our administration are going to work tirelessly to empower women to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity and contribute even more to America’s success in the years ahead. And I know, under President Trump’s leadership, the future for our country and the future for American women is brighter than ever before.”

Less than 24 hours later, the Vice President travelled to the Senate, took his seat as the President of the Senate and cast the vote that broke the tie to allow states to discriminate against abortion providers in distributing federal family planning funds.

Why was the vote so close, when Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate? Because two Republicans, Maine’s own Senator Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, broke ranks “to empower women to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity” by making it possible for women to control their reproductive lives by choosing their reproductive health provider of choice.

The pressure to vote the party line on this matter must have been extraordinary and Maine Family Planning thanks Senator Collins for her principled vote. We are equally grateful to Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree for their votes in support of Maine women and teens.

What does this mean for Maine?

With this vote, Congress has allowed states that administer the federal family planning program to discriminate against family planning providers that also provide abortion services. In Maine, however, our state government does not play a role in deciding how federal family planning funds are distributed. Instead, these funds are granted directly to Maine Family Planning, a private not for profit organization, for the maintenance of a statewide family planning system. As the statewide administrator of the federal Title X family planning program, Maine Family Planning will continue to use those funds to provide high quality family planning services, and to support providers who meet the rigorous federal standards for delivery of such services – including our colleagues at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. 

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Call your local representatives:

https://legislature.maine.gov/house/townlist.htm

http://legislature.maine.gov/senate/find-your-state-senator/9392

https://www.collins.senate.gov/

http://www.king.senate.gov/

https://poliquin.house.gov/

https://pingree.house.gov/

Use this tool to localize your calls:  https://5calls.org/#            

  

Follow us on social media: 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MaineFamilyPlanning/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FPAMaine?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/maine_family_planning/

Join the FB group Maine:  Stand Up! Be Heard!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/StandupBeheardMaine/

 

Now is the time:  Be Bold.