This week, after news leaked that the Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v. Wade, Maine people have mobilized across the state to make their voices heard. From large groups of protestors taking to Maine streets, to students walking out of their classes, to the editorial boards of the state’s two major papers calling for congressional action to protect access to abortion, the message was clear: Mainers see that abortion rights are in danger and know they must be protected.
Heather Jamieson, Scarborough: “I have two daughters. I'm worried for my daughters, I'm worried for their friends, I'm worried for my grandchildren. Banning abortion does not stop abortions. It only creates unsafe abortions.”
Nancy A. Wanderer, Falmouth: “When reading the leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, I experienced a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, taking me back to those terrifying days before it was possible to get a safe, legal abortion…If Alito’s unjustified overruling of Roe becomes law, not only will women lose access to safe abortions, the court will lose all credibility. Both losses would be tragedies.”
Julie Krasne, Freeport: “Millions of women…now stand to lose their privacy, their autonomy, their freedom, their mental health, their jobs, their wealth and, for some, their very lives.”
Susan Burnham, Bethel: “I never thought [Roe] would be rolled back in my lifetime. I’m not sure whether I’m more furious or insulted.”
Bangor Daily News Editorial Board: “Even against long odds, the Senate should not leave any stone unturned in trying to secure stronger, bipartisan support for enshrining these protections into federal law…to the many people in Maine and across the country now worried about potentially losing reproductive health protections that have been in place for decades, it would show which of their elected officials are working to protect their rights.”
While abortion rights are currently protected by Maine state law and Governor Janet Mills and the legislature have taken action to further expand those rights, anti-abortion candidates like Paul LePage running for office this November pose a threat. Many of the Mainers who spoke out this week understood clearly that the best way to protect abortion rights in Maine was by rejecting anti-abortion politicians from the Maine GOP at the ballot box:
Paula N. Singer, Lyman: “We still have one right that cannot be taken away without an amendment to the Constitution: the right to vote. Women, and the men who support reproductive rights for women, need to use their vote for candidates for state legislatures and Congress who will support those rights.”
Mark Bowie, New Gloucester: “Having seen the Maine Republican Party platform, I believe it should be absolutely clear that if you wish to be governed by an extreme right-wing authoritarian theocracy, then by all means vote Republican.”
This week, LePage has doubled down on his opposition to abortion, signaling his openness to signing new abortion restrictions into law. While polling data shows most Mainers support abortion rights, LePage has frequently acted against the will of a majority of Mainers in the past, and appears willing to do so in the future.