Advocates Call on Maine’s Legislators to Protect Reproductive Rights
Maine Alliance for Reproductive Freedom Gathers at State House for Lobby Day
March 30, 2015
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AUGUSTA – Members of the Maine Alliance for Reproductive Freedom, formerly the Maine Choice Coalition, gathered in Augusta Monday to call on Maine’s legislators to protect and advance reproductive freedom for all Maine women. The Alliance formally announced its new name and expanded focus to incorporate a broader range of issues impacting the reproductive lives of Maine women.
Those gathered urged Maine legislators to pass bills that will protect women’s health:
LD 1013 will protect women and their pregnancies by banning the use of restraints on a prisoner or detainee known to be pregnant during labor, transport to a medical facility, delivery, and postpartum recovery, except in extraordinary circumstances.
LD 319 will provide low-income, underinsured and uninsured women access to essential reproductive health care and disease prevention measures.
They also urged legislators to reject attacks on women’s access to health care and the constitutional right to have an abortion:
LD 83 would repeal Maine’s current parental consent law and place difficult hurdles in the way of some young women who are seeking an abortion.
Additionally, Gov. LePage’s budget proposal includes cuts to safety net programs including General Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income that will disproportionately affect households headed by women. An important value for those who support reproductive justice is that parents have the ability to raise their families in a healthy and safe way, which includes being able to feed and provide a home for their children. The Alliance urged the legislature to reject cuts to these vital programs and to instead work to strengthen access to the supports families need to move out poverty.
The following quotes can be attributed as noted:
Samaa Abdurraqib, Reproductive Freedom Organizer, ACLU of Maine: “We are gathered here today to stress upon our legislators the need to pass policy that supports Mainers’ rights to have children or not have children, and supports their ability to raise those children in a safe and healthy environment. We are here to urge our legislators to make policy that allows Maine women and their families to thrive, because when Maine women thrive, all of Maine thrives.”
Abbie Strout, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center: “Access to affordable health care, including reproductive health care, is an essential component of women’s economic security. LD 319 will create stronger families by giving women full control of their reproductive lives and allowing them to take full advantage of educational and career opportunities.”
Lynne Holler, mother of two teenagers from South Portland: “As a mother, I am asking our law-makers to not force young women to put themselves in danger unnecessarily. Please keep Maine’s current adult involvement law in place so that young women can safely get the support they need when making important decisions about their pregnancies even when they can’t talk to their parents. It’s what I want for my own daughter. Maine has a good law that works. Let’s keep it that way.”
Elizabeth Capone-Newton, mother of two from Portland: “If we care about children, we must care about the adults in their lives, too. Proposals that would make it harder for people to eat, to have a place to live or to have health care are really an attack on our entire community – on our children, our youth, our parents, our elders, everyone. As mothers, as neighbors who care for each other, we know that our own family’s well-being is wrapped up in your family’s well-being, and vice versa, and we will not accept legislation that promotes the neglect of ourselves and our neighbors.”
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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