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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House Panel Proposes Title X

National Family Planning Program Elimination

 
While all eyes are turned to the Senate Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) released its draft appropriations measure for fiscal year (FY) 2018 yesterday. The subcommittee will mark up the proposal today, after which it is expected to head to the full House Appropriations Committee for debate and approval the week of July 17. 

For the sixth time in the last eight years, the House has proposed elimination of the Title X family planning program. In Maine, this would affect more than 20,000 low income women and teens who rely on Maine Family Planning and their partners for contraceptive care, breast and cervical cancer screening, and host of other related services, including primary care, LGBTQ+ services, and screening, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.  

These cuts come as part of an almost $5 billion cut to the Labor-HHS bill - a funding level that is woefully inadequate to meet communities' basic needs. Maine Family Planning strongly opposes the threat to public health and safety.  

Your advocacy has never been more importantPlease contact your Representative about your support for Title X and publicly funded family planning. Tell them to oppose all cuts to Title X.

 
First Congressional District Representative:  Chellie Pingree
Washington DC Office (202) 225-6116
Portland, Maine Office (207) 774-5019
Waterville Maine Office (207) 873-5713
 
Second Congressional District Representative: Bruce Poliquin
Washington DC Office (202) 225-6306
Bangor Office (207) 942-0583
Lewiston Office (207) 784-0768
Presque Isle Office (207) 764-1968

 

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BILLS FROM 128TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION

UPDATE 7/17:  This bill was voted down in the House for a *second time*, and goes back to the Senate for a vote this Thursday 7/20, 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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UPDATE:  This bill is DEFEATED!

  • 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.

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UPDATE: This bill is DEFEATED!

  • 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.

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  • 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 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.