June 24, 2023

Abortion, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights

This legislative session has been a long and grueling one, and Maine Family Planning acknowledges the work that all our citizen lawmakers do on behalf of their constituents.  

Together with coalition partners we advanced legislation that protects and expands access to abortion in Maine, and we are proud of everything that we were able to achieve. We also celebrate important progress towards sovereignty for Wabanaki people, a statewide paid family and medical leave program, and investments in childcare infrastructure, just to name a few key victories for reproductive justice this session.  

There were also hard losses, particularly for progress on evidence-based harm reduction policy that would prevent deaths from drug overdoses. And a budgeting process that leaves countless worthy and important causes all scrambling in the hopes for a fraction of what is truly needed to do our work; the rest we will be left to cobble together through private fundraising. 

We are disappointed in the inflammatory rhetoric and intense faith-based lobbying that took place around LD 1619, An Act to Improve Maine’s Reproductive Privacy Laws. Much like the perpetual failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, we believe that the persistent, insistent focus on hypothetical situations that necessitate abortions later in pregnancy belies a fundamental mistrust of women and pregnant people and a patriarchal instinct of dominance and control. Pregnancy may come natural to some, but is never without a degree of risk. And our track record for supporting birthing people, especially Black and Indigenous women, immigrants, queer, trans, and nonbinary folks, poor folks, disabled folks, is abysmal for a so-called developed nation.  

One year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overruled the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade. While radical factions seek to outlaw abortion, establish fetal personhood, and restrict access to contraception and sexuality education, it is more important than ever for states to take bold action to protect full scope sexual and reproductive health care and rights. We will never back down from that stance, and we are grateful to the many, many Mainers that stand with us in our work towards a future of reproductive justice for all.