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Support Family Planning Funding

Aislinn Canarr, board member and advocacy committee chair, testified in support of LD 1613 a bill that will replace the “gagged” Title X funding with state funding and preserve Maine’s family planning network. While Mabel Wadsworth Center does not seek nor accept state or federal funding we stand with Maine Family Planning and the 23,000 Mainers who seek care within the family planning network. Here is the testimony provided by Aislinn:

Good afternoon. My name is Aislinn Canarr and I live in Winterport Maine.  I’m here today in support of LD 1613 to ensure funding for continued family planning services in the State of Maine.

In my life, I have been a beneficiary of Maine Family Planning’s health care services.  For a period in college and my early 20s, they were the only provider I saw. In addition to gynecological care, my provider gave me a basic check-up.  Their sliding scale for services and prescriptions allowed me to access care and get birth control when I was uninsured. I remember sitting with someone from the office after my appointment to fill out the financial paperwork.  I can still feel the vivid relief when I was told I qualified for the sliding scale program and my birth control prescription was going to be $11/month instead of $35.  That $20 may not sound like a lot, but it was huge as a college student.  It is huge for those who struggle to make ends meet.  It was the difference between being able to consistently fill my prescription and letting it lapse.  I am so grateful that they were able to provide me health care and I got the services I needed.  I continued to see my provider at Maine Family Planning when I had health insurance because of the great care they provide.  I only stopped being a patient after I became pregnant and needed to find prenatal care.  My provider there confirmed my pregnancy, and I was saddened I would have to find care elsewhere.

I know that I was able to get the healthcare I needed when I was uninsured because of the outside funding they receive.  I applauded their decision to refuse Title X money when restrictions were placed on the funding.  When I go to the doctor, I don’t want them censored from providing me with options that may be in my best care.  I also understood that it would be a hardship in continuing to provide care to some of our state’s most rural and vulnerable populations.  I appreciate our State’s initiative to replace the funding that the federal government is keeping from qualified and legitimate health centers.  The state funding will benefit so many in our state the same way I was benefited.  I fully support LD 1613 and providing healthcare to Maine residents.  I hope you all in the committee will support that as well.


Thank you.

Aislinn Canarr