From health care professionals and civil liberties advocates to churches and economic justice groups, Maine's people support the right to determine one's future.
PORTLAND – As the legislature’s judiciary committee prepares to hold a work session on the bill that would explicitly enshrine the right to reproductive autonomy in the state’s constitution, two dozen organizations and associations have signed on to a letter urging lawmakers to pass the measure on to voters.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court revoked federal protections for abortion in June 2022, “state and federal lawmakers across the country opposed to people having access to affordable, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care have increased their attempts to enact policy that stigmatizes, harms and infringes on the reproductive rights of Americans,” the letter reads. “These harmful policies are proven to disproportionately impact already marginalized people and communities, including BIPOC and people in rural areas, and clinicians continue to show how these policies negatively impact health care outcomes.”
Earlier this month, hundreds of Mainers testified in support of LD 780, a “Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Protect Personal Reproductive Autonomy,” sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc).
In Maine, a supermajority of lawmakers in both legislative chambers must vote to pass a proposed constitutional amendment before it is put to voters in the next general election.
“Maine doesn’t have to be a state where fundamental reproductive rights hang in the balance every election cycle,” the letter continues. “Maine can continue to lead and shine as an example of a state that values autonomy, freedom and individual liberties. Mainers deserve to know their rights are explicitly protected in our state constitution.”
In every opportunity to weigh in on the ballot box since Dobbs, voters across the country have affirmed their support for protecting reproductive liberties. In California, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont voters approved measures to enshrine reproductive rights in their constitutions, and voters in Kansas, Kentucky and Montana rejected attempts to take away reproductive liberties.
ACLU of Maine
American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!)
Mabel Wadsworth Center
Maine Council of Churches
Maine Equal Justice
Maine Family Planning
Maine Medical Association
Maine Nurse Practitioner Association
Maine Osteopathic Association
Maine People's Alliance
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Maine Section Advisory Council, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Maine Service Employees Association – SEIU Local 1989
Maine Women's Lobby
Maine Youth Power
Mainers for Working Families
National Association of Social Workers, Maine Chapter
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Safe Abortions for Everyone (SAFE) Maine
Statement from Lisa Margulies, Esq., Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund:
“The organizations and associations who have signed on to this letter understand what’s at stake when it comes to the fundamental right to reproductive autonomy. And the people these groups represent and advocate for — patients, providers, youth, people of faith, people advocating for historically marginalized communities, people whose voices are so often silenced by political forces that control the levers of power — deserve to have their voices heard.
The people of Maine value freedom and democracy, and they value the right to reproductive autonomy. The only question here is whether our elected leaders value their constituents enough to let them vote on one of the most important issues of our time.”