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.
According to documents recently obtained by the ACLU, the Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a new program linking its National License Plate Recognition initiative with those of law enforcement agencies across the country.
Update: On the night of January 21, Congressional leadership decided to pull the vote on a 20-week abortion ban scheduled for today. They instead plan to vote on H.R. 7, "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion," which threatens women’s health and access to abortion by denying access to health insurance coverage that includes coverage of abortion beyond the most narrow of circumstances.
Yesterday, we closed our office in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and observed the legacy of this great civil rights leader. It was an opportunity for us to reflect on the immense gains our country made because of the Civil Rights movement and be inspired by the words, courage and actions of leaders like Dr. King. However it was also an opportunity for us to think about the goals of the Civil Rights movement and, when it comes to racial justice and equality, where America is today.
The bill titles for Maine's upcoming legislative session were published this week, and we’re now getting a sense for what our reproductive rights fights are going to look like for the next few months. As far as we can tell, we’ve got two bills related to reproductive rights and one bill related to religious freedom that might have implications for reproductive rights. One bill is proactive – i.e., expanding and protecting reproductive rights. We'll be on the defensive on the other two bills that threaten to restrict reproductive rights.