July, 2015. LD 319, an act to expand access to reproductive healthcare in Maine, is now law! Introduced during the most recent legislative session by a GRR member, this bill received bi-partisan support as it made its way through both houses of Maine’s legislature. By providing free reproductive healthcare for low-income residents of the state, this bill makes diagnosis and treatment of STIs and certain cancers more widely available as well as providing effective contraception.
The goal of this bill is to provide much needed healthcare for many people in Maine who are struggling economically. Conservative estimates are that providing this care will actually save the state approximately $100,000 in its first year and by year three, as much as $3,000,000 every year. By avoiding unintended pregnancies and providing better care and better outcomes for pregnant women and their babies, this bill can improve the lives of Mainers while reducing the burden on tax payers.
“The best thing is that this provides a needed service for many of Maine’s low-income families at a savings to Maine taxpayers,” says Representative Jay McCreight, author of the bill. “This is a significant success for Maine families. The bipartisan support of the bill was very exciting. The resistance, not unexpected. Groups interested in women’s rights and in improving Mainer’s access to health care were inspiring. People took time from their busy lives to work to support this bill.”