See all: Uncategorized29 Jan 2015
For over 35 years, we’ve stood up for a full range of issues that affect the lives of women and our families. Your gift of $15 for 2015 will help make sure we continue to be your voice when the future of Maine women and girls is on the line.
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Eliza, Danna, Kathy, and Molly
On Tuesday, January 2oth, the Coalition for Maine Women and the Maine Choice Coalition held Maine Women’s Day at the State House – an annual event that highlights the importance of issues that affect women and our families at the start of the legislative session. Participants had a chance to learn more about those issues at an Issue Briefing Session in the Welcome Center and could participate in workshops in the afternoon.
The coalitions also announced their legislative priorities at a press conference in the Hall of Flags. The following press release tells more about those legislative priorities and the coalitions. To learn more about the priorities, download a summary: 2015 Coalition for Maine Women and Maine Choice Coalition Legislative Priorities.
To help work on these issues, contact Molly at 207-622-0851 x2 or email@example.com.
Maine Women Voice Support for Issues that Matter Most to Them
Coalitions Announce Priority Legislation at State House Press Conference
AUGUSTA – Members of the Coalition for Maine Women the Maine Choice Coalition announced their legislative priorities at State House press conference today. The press conference was part of the annual Women’s Day at the State House, which provides training for Maine women to participate in the democratic process.
The coalitions announced support for bills that would ban the shackling of pregnant women; expand funding for reproductive health care and family planning services; subsidize child care, Head Start and home visits for some families; and ensure that victims of domestic and sexual assault are able to take protected leave from work. The coalitions also announced that they would oppose efforts by some legislators to make it harder for women to access abortion care.
The following quotes can be attributed as noted:
Oamshri Amarasingham, public policy counsel, ACLU of Maine: “Women constitute the fastest growing population of incarcerated people, and the number of women in Maine’s prisons has increased six-fold since 2002. Yet while the number of women in our criminal justice system has skyrocketed, our ability to provide them with appropriate conditions has failed to keep up. Ending the shackling of pregnant women will protect the health of women and their pregnancies.”
Claire Berkowitz, executive director, Maine Children’s Alliance: “Child development experts have demonstrated that the most critical development of a child’s brain happens within the first five years of life. We know that our support of strong early childhood programming will not only bolster our state’s economic recovery, but provide economic security for future generations as well. Inadequate or inaccessible child care means that parents cannot obtain or maintain gainful employment, leaving them vulnerable to falling into poverty. Despite the research on its benefits to families and communities, the early childhood programming that would support Maine’s children continues to go underfunded. Today, we are calling on our elected leaders to make early childhood programming a priority this session. The future of our state depends on it.”
Julia Colpitts, executive director, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence: “Economic reality – having no money or no housing – keeps many victims of violence from leaving their abuser, and can force them to return. Having a job is a first step to independence and safety. A victim’s employment is vital to building economic security and creating safety for them and for their children. Victims who want to work, to create new and sustainable lives don’t want to lose their job or be dependent on social welfare resources. This legislation will help them be successful on that economic path to safety by retaining their right to work through the crisis of violence.”
Ruth Lockhart, executive director, Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center: “Women are vital to our society and economy, and when women thrive, Maine thrives. For those reasons we will oppose wrong-headed bills that take us backwards. As we have for decades, we will oppose any effort to undermine a woman’s autonomy over her own reproduction. Once again this year we will oppose any attempt to abridge our civil rights, including granting exemption from state laws based on religious objection. And we will oppose efforts that demonize people who need our help.”
Helen Regan, Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights: “Why hasn’t Maine taken advantage of an indirect, but proven way to support women in their search for job training and employment? Expansion of access to family planning services to women whose health care does not currently cover contraception will give them the tools they need to avoid unintended pregnancies known to be a huge setback for those seeking to support themselves and their families. Let’s take action that helps women help themselves.”
The Coalition for Maine Women is a diverse network of organizations working to improve the social, economic, and political status of women and to promote the equality of all Maine citizens.
The Maine Choice Coalition is a coalition of organizations and individuals working together to ensure that all Mainers have access to abortion and have the economic, social and political power and resources to make their own decisions about their bodies, sexuality, reproductive health, and families.