Hundreds of Mainers Rally to Protect Abortion Rights

Nationwide Day of Action Calls for End to Abortion Bans that Harm Women and Families

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
May 21, 2019 9:15 am

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Portland – Hundreds of Mainers gathered in Portland today to speak out against a recent flood of anti-abortion laws around the country. Advocates, health care providers, legal organizations, educators and others who oppose the abortion bans gathered in Congress Square Park in Portland to call on legislators to keep abortion safe and legal.

While abortion remains legal in all 50 states, several states have passed laws in recent weeks that, if allowed to go into effect, will make abortion illegal in all or most cases.

While other states attempt to outlaw abortion, the Maine legislature is this year considering two bills that would protect and expand access to abortion care for all Mainers. Both the House and Senate voted to pass LD 820, which will ensure all private and public insurance plans that cover prenatal health care costs also cover abortion care. And today the House voted to pass LD 1261, which will end the unnecessary ban on nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians providing abortion care. That bill now goes to the Senate for further votes.

The following quotes can be attributed as noted:

Ariel Bernstein, midwife, Portland: “Reproductive justice issues affect every single person in this country. We must stand united to make sure that everyone has equal access to reproductive health care choices.”

Alison Beyea, executive director, ACLU of Maine: “Abortion is a constitutional right and we are going to fight to keep it that way. We know that if we really want to protect people and families, we should be expanding access to abortion, not taking it away.”

Tanja Hollander, Auburn resident: “Even in Maine it was difficult for me to get the care I needed in a timely manner. I feel incredibly lucky to have a community and support system that did not question my decision, and that I had the resources to pay for the abortion, to travel over two hours to get it, to take time off from work. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been if I lived in Alabama or Georgia or Missouri.”

Jake Kulaw, health educator in Portland: “We need to support our students and provide them with accurate information regarding sexual health including consent, access to birth control and HIV/STI testing as part of a comprehensive sexual health education curriculum.”

Marie Follyattar, co-founder, Mainers for Accountable Leadership: “We are here today as Mainers fighting against radical anti-choice policies. We are here to say to all of our elected officials: protect and stand with women or we will replace you with leaders of conscience who value all aspects of life.”

Nicole Clegg, vice president of public policy, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund: “In the past five months, states have passed 16 abortion bans. This isn’t a coincidence—it’s an attempt to ban abortion outright. And these bans aren’t just an attack on people in Alabama or Georgia or Missouri. These bans are an attack of all of us, which is why we’re all fighting back. The bans haven’t taken effect; abortion is still legal in all 50 states and we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way.”

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