Advocacy

Maine Family Planning is working for YOUR RIGHTS.  We are tracking the following bill and titles (until the bills are finalized).  

Bill:  

LD 327, An Act to Allow a Wrongful Death Cause of Action for the Death of a Viable Fetus, sponsored by Representative Ellie Espling of New Gloucester

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?LD=327&snum=128

 

The list of titles being tracked:

An Act to Limit Abortion to the First Trimester of Pregnancy

An Act to Ban Abortion as Soon as a Fetal Heartbeat Can Be Detected

An Act to Establish a “Choose Life” License Plate

An Act to Reduce Maternal, Fetal and Infant Mortality

An Act to Protect Substance-Exposed Infants

An Act to Facilitate Increased Access to Women’s Health

An Act to Make Oral Contraceptives Available Over the Counter

An Act to Reduce Barriers Regarding Reproductive Health Care

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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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Women’s Health Organizations Urge Careful Review of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Record as Nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court

Lifetime appointment will have major impact on reproductive rights for decades to come

 

AUGUSTA, ME, February 1, 2017 - In response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights, Mabel Wadsworth Center, Maine Family Planning, Maine Women’s Lobby, and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England issued the following statement:

A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is one of the most important decisions a President will make and is critical to ensuring an independent check on presidential powers and protection of our constitutional rights. Mainers expect senators to take their constitutional duty seriously when it comes to evaluating the character and fitness of the president's judicial nominees, who serve lifetime appointments that could affect generations to come. Given the extreme ideology already shown by President Trump and Congressional leaders, the Supreme Court must serve as a fair and impartial arbiter and uphold equal justice under the law.

In nominating Gorsuch, Trump has followed through on a campaign pledge to nominate a justice who would be in the mold of Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia’s record on the bench was hostility toward women’s rights to make our own reproductive healthcare decisions. In other key aspects of reproductive justice, Scalia’s record was anti-civil rights, anti-gay, anti-voting rights, and displayed a reading of the text and history of the Constitution that consistently and conveniently matched his right-wing ideological preferences. A recent study by prominent legal scholars found that Gorsuch would likely be to the right of both Scalia and Alito, two extreme justices who have opposed abortion rights and other key constitutional protections in their tenure. The study also reveals that Gorsuch would likely vote to “limit gay rights, uphold abortion restrictions and invalidate affirmative action” and “least likely to drift” from his current conservative viewpoints. [i]

With this nomination, President Trump has fulfilled the expectation that he would nominate someone to the Supreme Court who will be on the side of wealthy and powerful special interests rather than everyday Americans, and whose commitment to core constitutional values is in question.  Judge Gorsuch has a hostile record toward women’s reproductive rights and to issues of discrimination and police brutality. He has taken extreme positions opposing agencies whose mission is to protect clean air and water, the safety of food and medicine, and consumers and investors.

We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to subject Judge Gorsuch’s record to intense scrutiny, with careful attention to whether he will respect our constitutional values of liberty, equality and justice for all. We maintain that Judge Gorsuch is the wrong choice for the Court, and believes that when the American people have learned more about his record and rulings, they will agree. We also call on Senators Collins and King to make an independent evaluation of Judge Gorsuch and demand that their colleagues conduct a transparent and rigorous vetting process with respect to the nominee’s record on women’s rights, including reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and civil rights.

Supreme Court justices have a powerful and enduring role in determining the future of reproductive rights and that our rights are more at risk than they have been in decades. Last June, in a landmark ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a 5-3 majority of the Supreme Court struck down Texas sham laws designed to shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics medically unnecessary restrictions. The Court reaffirmed our constitutional rights to access legal abortion and made it clear that politicians cannot rely on junk science to impose burdens on women’s health. Unfortunately, Gorsuch’s record on reproductive rights is troubling. In 2013, Gorsuch played a key role in the 10th Circuit Court’s Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision that prioritized the rights of corporations over women needing affordable birth control over religious objections. The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court and may come before the Court again. Protecting our reproductive rights including access to legal abortion care and birth control are core constitutional values that must be addressed in the confirmation process.



[i] Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin & Kevin Quinn: President-Elect Trump and His Possible Justices, 2015. Available at http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/PresNominees2.pdf

 

 

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Do you find you are asking “What now”?!       CALL.  DONATE.  FOLLOW. 


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/#            

Sample Text for you:  

Oppose Tom Price

Hi, my name is [Name] and I live in [town]. I'm calling to express my deep opposition to the confirmation of Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Tom Price’s record makes it clear he is intent on destroying America’s social safety net.

He has plans to defund family planning services, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and roll back reproductive rights. The American people deserve access to affordable, quality healthcare, the confirmation of Tom Price would endanger the health and lives of millions of Americans.

[Optional: add anything else you wish to say here, if you have a story about how family planning or the ACA has helped you, please tell them your story]

Please tell [Senator's Name] to oppose the confirmation of Tom Price. Thank you.

 

  Oppose Hyde bill

 Hi, my name is [Name] and I live in [Town] I’m calling to express my strong opposition to HR 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” that will be coming before the Senate soon.  This bill is a dangerous attempt to prevent  millions of American women from using their health insurance to access a legal, common health service.

 The bill would codify the Hyde Amendment, which prevents people who get their healthcare through Medicaid, the military, the Peace Corps and the Indian Health Service from having abortion services covered by their insurance.  It also prevents people who purchase private insurance on the Exchange from purchasing plans that cover abortion and revokes a tax credit for employers who offer plans with abortion coverage. The net effect is to make abortion care dramatically less accessible for millions of Americans.

 Please tell Senator [NAME] to reject this bill and protect access to reproductive health care.

             

 Donate to Maine Family Planning:  With 18 clinics across the state of Maine YOU can help MAINE women have access to care and services. http://bit.ly/2fxCDx2

 

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.