A trial began yesterday for a lawsuit that challenges Alaska’s regulations that restrict abortions for low-income women. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Susan Orlansky, an Anchorage attorney, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.
Yesterday, I had my first public hearing of the session, fittingly on a First Amendment issue. And, because the bill creates a new crime, I found myself in front of the Criminal Justice committee - which may turn out to be my home away from home for the next few months. The bill, LD 43, was modeled after the federal Stolen Valor Act of 2013 and would create a new class E crime for false claims of military service.
On Monday, Rep. Joyce “Jay” McCreight, a new representative from Harpswell, introduced the bill LD 319: An Act to Strengthen the Economic Stability of Qualified Maine Citizens by Expanding Coverage of Reproductive Health Care and Family Services. The bill title is long, but the goal of the bill is simple.
This morning, I re-watched a Democracy Now segment featuring Canadian doctor and addiction specialist Gabor Mate. In the segment, Amy Goodman asked Dr. Mate about his thoughts on the use of the criminal justice system to address drug addiction. He responded:
Every fall, the ACLU of Maine hosts three regional student conferences that bring together students from across the state to learn about the civil rights and civil liberties that matter most to young people. Not every school is able to attend those conferences, however, whether because of scheduling conflicts or just sheer travel distance. So to make sure that no schools are left out, we hit the road every year during the spring semester to take our presentations into classrooms in every corner of Maine.
Nothing is better than spending a frigid, snowy weekend inside reading a really good book. I spent this particularly cold weekend reading Just Mercy, a memoir by Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.
According to a newly disclosed email, obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers.
Advocates for Youth – an organization that advocates for the reproductive rights of young people – has produced a new play called Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign. The play, designed for use on college campuses, is a dramatization of 14 stories submitted to the Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 Campaign, a grassroots movement invested in the stigma-defeating power of storytelling.