Let’s pass a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive autonomy in Maine!
With federal protections for abortion gone, and increasing attacks on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, it is crucial that Mainers’ reproductive liberties are explicitly protected. Right now, while we have good laws in place in Maine, the protections granted by those laws are subject to the whims of politicians and are not guaranteed election to election.
A resolution to amend the Maine state constitution to protect personal reproductive autonomy, introduced by Maine Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli (D-Sagadahoc), would explicitly enshrine the right to personal reproductive autonomy in the Maine state constitution, leaving no doubt that Maine values reproductive autonomy, and reproductive autonomy is a fundamental right.
To pass this amendment, it's going to take all of us.
Here's how to help:
Add your name in support of a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive autonomy in Maine.
PPMEAF has partnered with Little Chair Printing and designer Christina Puopolo for a sweatshirt collaboration fundraiser. Your purchase will benefit PPMEAF and help keep the fight for abortion rights going.
What is the process to amend the Maine state constitution?
Learn more below!
Any state lawmaker can submit a resolution proposing to amend Maine’s constitution. Once a resolution is formally introduced, it is assigned to an appropriate committee in the legislature.
The committee can hold a public hearing on the resolution, which is an opportunity for members of the public to testify before lawmakers about a proposed bill. After the public hearing, the committee can vote to recommend the full legislature pass or not pass the proposal.
House and Senate Voting
Then, each body of the legislature – the House of Representatives and the Senate – holds their own votes on the resolution.
In Maine, a proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both legislative chambers in order for it to move forward. If two-thirds of lawmakers in both chambers vote for a proposal, the resolution is then put to voters in the next general election. A simple majority of voters must approve the proposed amendment for it to take effect. Constitutional amendments in Maine do not need to be approved by the Governor.
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the constitution. Regarding state constitutions, each state has its own set of rules, usually determined by the elected state legislators, for how its constitution can be amended.
Constitutional amendments provide stronger protection of rights and liberties than statewide laws because they are usually much more difficult to change than laws. Laws can be changed by state legislatures, and the makeup of those legislatures can change with every election. In contrast, the process for amending the state constitution in Maine has two steps: Approval by the state legislature followed by voter approval in an election.
Post-Dobbs, we have seen increasing attacks on not only abortion care but on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care at local, state, and federal levels.
Whether it be birth control, gender-affirming care, funding for family planning services, or abortion, what’s clear is that certain politicians want to take away our reproductive freedom and autonomy. While Maine has some strong laws, laws can be repealed. Rights should not be determined from election to election or left up to politicians. Despite the gains we’ve made, reproductive rights and freedoms in our state are not guaranteed past the next election.