Yesterday, I spent six and a half hours in the Judiciary Committee room listening to testimony on three anti-choice bills. First, email legislators and ask them to oppose LDs 116, 924 and 1463 by clicking here. Maine legislators need to hear from pro-choice Mainers. Second, it was a day of moving testimony. It's never easy to have to sit through hours of testimony spreading misinformation and shaming women. However, it's inspiring, invigorating and energizing to hear testimony from pro-choice doctors, mental health professionals, clergy, women, mothers and advocates who all support and trust women.

When a woman faces the choice to have an abortion, it's never an easy thing. I have not had to make this choice. Six women in my life have. Some of the women told me long after the abortion occurred. Others sought my counsel as they made the decision. Once, months after having an abortion, a dear friend called after seeing on TV an ultrasound of a pregnancy at the point at which she had terminated hers. It was a hard conversation.

I have learned from these conversations that there can be no room for judgment or shame. I try to listen. I try to be empathetic and understanding. Above all, I try to make sure the woman knows I love her no matter what she chooses or how she feels about her choice. It is, after all, her choice.

The proposed bills unnecessarily burden and offensively shame women seeking an abortion. One bill would require doctors to read a biased, coercive script to women. Another would require a 24-hour waiting period prior to obtaining an abortion. At the hearing, several people testified that a woman should take at least 24 hours to make the decision. I say to these people: such a decision is not made lightly and if a woman needs an abortion to happen within 24 hours, current law ensures she is adequately informed. She and her doctor can make that determination without your input.

Thank you to the many pro-choice Mainers that came out to support reproductive freedom and fight this roll back to the bad old days when women had to cross state and country lines for safe, regulated abortion. Readers: I urge you to contact your legislators and to be in touch if you'd like to be involved in the effort. We still have one public hearing ahead of us and there will eventually be votes on all of these bills. Maine women are counting on you.