Growing up prior to Roe v. Wade, I saw firsthand the consequences of what happens when women don’t have the right to make their own health care decisions or have access to quality health care, birth control or abortion. At that time, birth control was nearly impossible to obtain and abortion was still illegal. Women across Maine who found themselves unexpectedly pregnant and in need had nowhere to turn. As a result, they had to engage in clandestine, dangerous arrangements that resulted in painful, life-threatening experiences and sometimes death. Women’s health was of secondary concern, and it was impolite or out-of-line to discuss reproductive health.
We cannot return to that reality.
We have come so far and accomplished so much. Unfortunately, all of that progress now hangs in the balance. Forces that would undermine, roll back, or outright eliminate the right to use birth control or obtain a safe and legal abortion are more powerful today than they have been in decades. Politicians in Washington and Augusta openly wonder if this is their long-awaited opportunity to finally end safe and legal abortion in the United States.
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court presents the most serious risk to safe and legal abortion that we have seen in generations. In fact, it’s likely that with the Supreme Court moving further in the wrong direction, these important rights will have to be protected at the state level by governors.
Every woman in Maine needs to know the stark contrast in this election on this issue. Shawn Moody has taken the “Right to Life” pledge. My pledge is to fight every day to protect a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. That’s why I will:
- Fight not only to protect family planning services in this state, but to expand their presence and services so that women throughout Maine – regardless of how rural or how urban or how rich or how poor – have access to the care they need, when they need it.
- Fight to ensure that every person in this state has access to affordable, high-quality health care and reproductive services
- Fight to make sure they can obtain those services free from harassment and intimidation no matter where they live in Maine.
That is what Maine people deserve – nothing less. These services are more important than ever and I will be the ally that Maine women need in the Blaine House.