Fighting for Your Rights in Augusta & Washington, DC
Check this page regularly for updates on bills and issues of public policy that we are tracking and advocating around. Maine Family Planning utilizes a Reproductive Justice framework for our legislative advocacy and 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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Election 2018: We Can’t Sit This One Out!
Politicians are trying to gut our rights at the federal level by:
- Overturning Roe v. Wade
- Sabotaging the Title X family planning program for low-income folks (see below for more about the Domestic Gag Rule)
- Dismantling Medicaid & the Affordable Care Act
What’s at stake?
- Can we access abortion care?
- Can we afford effective birth control?
- Can we make our own health care decisions without political interference?
In 2018, state elections are more important than ever. In local races like those for the state legislature & governor, your vote really makes a difference. Together, we can elect candidates who will protect our health care, reproductive rights & basic dignity.
You decide: Who will represent your values as a Mainer?
When you encounter a candidate who wants your vote, ask them:
- Would you protect Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Act to ensure abortion access at the state level if Roe v. Wade is overturned?
- Do you oppose the Domestic Gag Rule & attempts to interfere in the provider-patient relationship?
- Do you support a minor’s right to access confidential, comprehensive, & medically proven reproductive health care?
- Do you support maintaining protections for people with pre-existing health conditions & coverage for birth control with no out-of-pocket costs?
- Do you support Medicaid (MaineCare) expansion?
We hope you’ll support pro-choice, pro-family planning, pro-health care candidates at the polls on November 6, 2018.
DON’T FORGET! Maine has same-day voter registration as well as early and absentee voting. Visit the links below for more information.
For additional information, check out:
- Find the location of your voting place, the candidates that will appear on your ballot, and your elected officials and how to contact them.: https://www1.maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/voter_lookup.php
- League of Women Voters “Election 2018” page: http://www.lwvme.org/elections.html
- Maine State Government’s Voter Info page: https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/index.html
- ACLU “Know Your Voting Rights” page: https://www.aclumaine.org/en/know-your-rights/know-your-rights-voting
Are you ready to take action against the Trump administration’s plan to sabotage the Title X family planning program?
The Trump-Pence administration has proposed sweeping changes to the Title X program, which provides affordable reproductive and sexual health care to millions of low-income women, men, and teens across the country.
For more than 40 years, Maine Family Planning has administered the Title X program in Maine, providing services at 18 health centers across the state and partnering with Planned Parenthood and community health centers to provide quality, affordable care to more than 20,000 Mainers each year, the majority of whom qualify for free or reduced-fee services. Now the Trump administration wants to impose new rules–known collectively as The Gag Rule–that will fundamentally change this critical program and make it harder to access health care.
We oppose this ideological attack and will be fighting it every step of the way. We hope you’ll join us.
What would the proposed Title X Gag Rule mean?
- It prohibits organizations like Maine Family Planning from providing abortion services and federally-funded family planning services at the same location. This would force us to choose between providing abortion care and providing family planning services, and could result in shuttered clinics and extremely limited access to abortion in under-served communities. This rule seeks to make abortion legal in law only and practically inaccessible to anyone except those with the most resources.
- It means your Title X providers can’t even talk to you about all the pregnancy-related options or give you clear information about where to access abortion services–even if you explicitly request it. This would leave our patients in the dark at a critical moment, with more hoops to jump through just to access safe and legal health care. The Gag Rule is an affront to medical ethics and the provider-patient relationship.
- It eliminates the requirement that family planning programs provide medically-accurate health care and the full range of proven contraceptive methods. Under the proposed rule, a Title X recipient could offer just one method-including “natural family planning,” like the rhythm method–and still meet the federal criteria.This would allow the administration to take taxpayer funds away from quality health care providers and funnel it into crisis pregnancy centers, abstinence-only advocates and other biased, non-medical organizations.
Maine people rely on Title X-funded health centers for reproductive and sexual health care including birth control, STD treatment and testing, and cancer screenings each year. They trust their family planning provider to tell them the truth and support them, whatever their decisions. This rule will make it harder for low-income and rural Mainers to access quality reproductive health care, including abortions. It will make Maine less healthy and Mainers less safe.
The federal family planning program is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until July 31st. Please take a minute and submit a comment.
Not sure what to say?
- If you have directly benefited from the quality family planning network in Maine, let the administration know how expert Title X providers have helped you by sharing your experience accessing birth control and other crucial reproductive health care services in our clinics.
- If you are a provider, social worker or advocate concerned about how the government is chipping away at health care access in our communities, let HHS know what placing quality services further out of reach would mean for the people you care for and serve.
- If you are a defender of reproductive rights, let the administration know you do not support government interventions in the patient-provider relationship, and believe that pregnant people are capable of making their own decisions about pregnancy & parenting.
Tell the Department of Health and Human Services that we demand comprehensive, medically-accurate reproductive health care from the Title X program, and these rules are unacceptable. (And once you do, please let us know! We’ll help amplify your collective opposition!)
Submit comments here by entering it directly into the online text box or uploading a document.
Maine Family Planning Gearing Up to Fight Trump’s Gag Rule & Stop Title X Sabotage – 6/6/18
For close to 50 years, Maine Family Planning has been the sole Title X grantee for the state of Maine, administering a bedrock federal program enacted under President Richard Nixon to ensure everyone has access to quality family planning services, regardless of how much money they make. At our 18 clinics statewide, and working with partners like Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and community health centers, we serve roughly 22,000 low-income women, men, and teens each year, offering expert care to folks in underserved communities statewide. Our Title X patients rely on us for affordable birth control, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings, along with other preventive health services.
The Trump-Pence administration is attempting to undermine the important work we do, by implementing what’s known as a “Domestic Gag Rule.” The proposed rule, published June 1 in the Federal Register, would prohibit providers who perform abortions – or even make referrals for abortion care – from receiving Title X funds. Let us be clear: This is a political assault on women and families nationwide that will make it harder for poor and rural Mainers to access quality health care. It is an attack not just on abortion rights, but on the doctor-patient relationship and on the values we hold at the center of the MFP mission.
We have a responsibility to our patients, and we intend to fulfil it. We will not cede Title X to those who would sabotage it, but rather we will fight to preserve it as it was designed. Were we not providing these services in Maine, a less scrupulous organization might step in to fill the void—one without our proven track record of serving tens of thousands of poor and rural folks. One without our compassionate, expert staff spread across 18 clinics in Maine. One less committed to medically accurate care.
MFP will fight implementation of the Gag Rule every step of the way. Publication of the rule kicked off a 60-day comment period; we intend to submit comments vigorously opposing this proposal and will encourage our supporters to do the same.
This fight is far from over. Once the comment period is closed, the government will publish a final rule. Only then can we take legal action, and you can be sure that, if the final rule looks like the proposal put forth last week, we’ll take this battle to court.
In the meantime, nothing will stop us from fulfilling our mission of providing the full range of reproductive health care to people who need it. We are committed to continuing to make quality abortion care available in Maine, regardless of geography, income, or situation in life.
Contact Your Legislators
Find your state senator.
Find your state representative.
Contact US Rep. Chellie Pingree: (207) 774-5019
Contact US Rep. Bruce Poliquin: (207) 942-0583
Contact US Sen. Angus King: (207) 622-8292
Contact US Sen. Susan Collins: (207) 622-8414
We love using 5 Calls to get directly in touch with federal representatives!