November, 2015. A crowd turns out for GRR’s public discussion, “Thorny Thickets: Politics, Medicine, and Reproductive Rights” in Brunswick. The Director of Abortion Services at Maine Family Planning, a non-profit with 18 clinics around the state, points out that poverty is the greatest barrier to effective reproductive healthcare in Maine. Although charitable funding is available to help many women, the most important recent development may be the passage of LD 319, a law to provide free reproductive healthcare to thousands of low-income Maine residents. Rep. McCreight, the bill’s author, discussed her efforts to connect reproductive rights with economic security through her work in the legislature.
Attendees look forward to a time when all residents will have access to whatever reproductive healthcare services they need, whenever they need them. In the mean time, the speakers encourage us to keep talking to our state representatives about the importance of this issue. A show of hands demonstrates that everyone in the room knows somebody who has had an abortion — 1 in 3 women will have this procedure by the age of 45. Reducing stigma is an important part of protecting access to abortion.