March 26, 2024


Family Planning Advocates Held Day of Action to Call on Legislature to Fund Bill Investing in Maine’s Family Planning Network

Augusta, Maine –– On Thursday, dozens of advocates from across the state gathered at the State House urging lawmakers to fund LD 1478, “An Act to Improve Women’s Health and Economic Security by Funding Family Planning Services,” to invest in the state’s family planning network. Supporters met with their legislators, sending a strong message that investing in Maine’s family planning network is urgent and critical as health providers are serving more patients than ever without the funding to match. 

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Dozens of […] advocates are pushing lawmakers for more funding for family planning resources at a time when access and help aren’t always guaranteed. “That’s why it’s more important than ever that Maine steps up,” [said Representative Michele Meyer].

News Center Maine

Organizations, including the not-for-profit Maine Family Planning, say if the bill passes, it could help clinics that offer reproductive care stay open more often, offering more services to more people, especially in underserved rural areas. “These are all clinics that are open one day a week, which is really not enough to provide access to the kind of sexual reproductive health care that our patients need,” Maine Family Planning President and CEO George Hill said. Hill also said the funding could help bolster the providers’ newest mobile clinic it is working to launch—an attempt at reaching underserved corners of Maine.

News Center Maine

Advocates speaking Thursday in favor of the bill explained that family planning often refers to several different health services, such as infertility care, pregnancy testing, birth control access, [and] treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and that some people even rely on family planning providers as their primary care. “Title X funds are tangled in a political tug of war, and funding from the state has become stagnant for nearly a decade,” [Senator Teresa] Pierce said at a press conference.

News Center Maine

“Our board unanimously agreed to reject $2 million in federal Title X funds because of restrictions the Trump administration wanted to put on the public dollars we were using to support our clinics. And it alerted us to the need to look to the State to provide [increased] funding,” [said George A. Hill, Maine Family Planning President and CEO].

News Center Maine

“We provide incredibly important essential health care to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. And because of that, we have to absorb a lot of significant cost. What we’re hoping is to establish a better partnership with the state of Maine to ensure that our family planning programs are available for the future,” said Nicole Clegg, the Interim CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.


Representative Michele Meyer, a cosponsor of the bill, says this network serves patients across the state and provides essential health care many would otherwise not have access to, including cancer screenings, behavioral health care, and primary care. For many patients, their family planning visit is, as Senator [Teresa] Pierce says, the only healthcare interaction they have each year. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Teresa Pierce […] says she is confident the bill will be funded in the last few weeks of the legislative session.

Fox Bangor

Supporters say adequate funding for Maine’s family planning network is vital to the health of Maine people. “When we think about this, 99 percent of all women will use some form of birth control in their lifetime,” Planned Parenthood of Northern New England [Interim] CEO Nicole Clegg said. “And for most people who can become pregnant, they rely on sexual and reproductive health care as their primary form of care for decades, starting in their teens, until their 50s. That is what they are looking for, and that is what they need.”



About Maine Family Planning

Maine Family Planning is a statewide, private, not-for-profit organization founded more than 50 years ago to assure access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services for Maine people regardless of their ability to pay. As the statewide grantee for both federal and state funds, Maine Family Planning subcontracts with other sexual and reproductive health care providers to assure access through a total of 61 clinical sites, including 18 Maine Family Planning sites, four Planned Parenthood of Northern New England health centers, eight school-based health centers, and 31 Federally Qualified Health Centers. In 2023, Maine’s Family Planning Network served nearly 36,000 people. Learn more at