Updated: Jun 30

The future of abortion access hangs in the balance for millions of women across the country.

Last week a draft opinion leak revealed that a majority of justices on the US Supreme Court support overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1976 ruling that legalized abortion access nationwide.

Naturally, this news sparked nation-wide protests and Maine was no exception. It is broadly understood that an ensuing decision from the Court affirming its draft opinion would make abortion access illegal at the federal level and leave states to enforce their own laws on the matter. So what would Roe’s reversal mean for Maine women?

The good news is that Governor Mills and our leaders in the state Legislature have taken numerous actions to bolster abortion rights for Maine women in recent years.

In 2019 Governor Mills and state lawmakers worked together to pass LD 820 – a bill designed to cover abortion services for MaineCare members. That legislation also frees up state funding for abortion services that are not covered by Medicaid.

In that same year, our leaders passed LD 1261, which allows a physician's assistant or an advanced practice RN to perform abortions.

Rep. Joyce McCreight of Harpswell sponsored another bill to enact a protest-free buffer zone within eight feet of medical facilities. That bill was eventually signed into law by Governor Mills to ensure Maine women seeking reproductive health care and other medical services are not intimidated by protesters.

Since her appointment in 2019, Governor Mills and the Maine Legislature have worked to build off abortion protections previously enshrined in state law.

As state law currently stands:

  • People in Maine have an affirmed right to choose to terminate a pregnancy pre-viability, which is protected even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

  • Abortion after viability (about 24 weeks) is possible only if it’s to save the life and health of the mother, and can only be administered by a physician.

  • Minors seeking an abortion must have consent from an adult family member, except if sole consent is granted by a court. They must also undergo unbiased, non-coercive counseling about their options.

  • MaineCare and other insurance companies covering pregnancy must also cover abortion without additional restrictions or limitations.

In light of recent developments, at least one state lawmaker is considering a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would guarantee the right to an abortion.

Meanwhile, Governor Mills is standing by her continued commitment to protecting Maine women’s reproductive rights. In a recent statement, the Governor declared that, " as long as I am Governor, I will fight with everything I have to protect reproductive rights and to preserve access to reproductive health care in the face of every and any threat to it – whether from politicians in Augusta or Supreme Court Justices in Washington."

Senate President Troy Jackson recently shared a few words echoing the Governor's stance on abortion rights.

"The right to decide if and when to start a family is fundamental to who we are as Americans and to our freedom. It is a deeply personal decision that should not be made by politicians or justices," said Senator Jackson.

House Speaker Ryan Fecteau also shared a few words bout the right to choose in a recent statement.

"Over my eights years, the Maine Legislature has expanded access to abortion care in our state. We will keep fighting for these rights. That isn’t going to stop because an extremist Supreme Court is working to take our country back to dark days," said Speaker Fecteau.

In the meantime, people across the state are taking a number of actions to protect Maine women’s right to choose. They include taking part in protests, urging lawmakers to support access to abortion, and donating to local abortion providers.

Join the fight by contributing to your local abortion provider to ensure that Mainers seeking access to reproductive rights get to do so in a safe manner.

Mainers For Working Families applauds our leaders in Augusta for working to protect the right to abortion and other reproductive rights.

17 views0 comments

Updated: May 27

An ongoing battle between Corporate America and municipal government is finally drawing to a close.

Last week, Maine lawmakers passed LD 1129 to ensure that big box stores, such as Walmart, can no longer shift their property tax burden onto local municipalities by exploiting what is known as the dark store assessment.

As we previously reported, the dark store assessment is a loophole that big box stores use to lower their assessed property value and in turn, reduce their property taxes. As a result of this practice, municipalities across the country, including Maine towns like Ellsworth, are being cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes.

Now Maine stands to be the first state in the country to ensure that corporations do not short-change the municipalities that house their big box stores.

Rep. Ann Matlack, who sponsored the legislation, had a few words to share about the bill’s passage.

“These big box stores want the benefits of municipal services, such as police and fire protection, sewer and water services and well-maintained roads, while shifting their share of the cost onto the rest of the property tax payers. This law ensures that local assessors have the tools they need to support their determination of just value for these properties,” said Rep. Matlack.

Corporations who use our infrastructure and our labor have a responsibility to pay their fair share of taxes. We applaud Maine lawmakers for taking action and standing up for our local municipalities.

14 views0 comments

Updated: May 27

For the past few legislative sessions, our leaders in Augusta have been hard at work finding ways to address Maine's housing crisis. Thankfully, working families throughout the state can soon expect increased housing opportunities following the passage of a new law.

On Tuesday Governor Mills signed LD 2003 – An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions – to address the housing crisis.

“I am proud to sign these bills into law and to continue the progress we have made addressing Maine’s housing shortage. I hope these laws will allow us to say to thousands more Mainers, ‘Welcome Home,’” said Governor Mills.

As we previously reported, LD 2003 was proposed by House Speaker Fecteau to deal with the many obstacles presented by zoning laws, which can prevent building houses and other dwellings on certain land or on one’s own property. Following the bill’s signature, Speaker Fecteau shared a few words about the importance of the new legislation.

“Today we are taking action in an entirely new way to grow our housing supply to meet demand. We’re seeing rising home and rent costs impacting families from Aroostook County on down. I believe that with this legislation, Maine will be on the forefront on solving this crisis,” said Speaker Fecteau.

We applaud Governor Mills, House Speaker Fecteau, and our leaders in Augusta for taking this step to address Maine’s housing crisis.

32 views0 comments