Family planning

In his March 12 BDN OpEd, Maine Family Planning President and CEO George Hill scornfully says pro-life “protesters don’t want to hear the truth.” This, from a man who doesn’t acknowledge the truth himself.

Actually, Hill’s livelihood hinges on distorting the truth. For 25-plus years, he has masterfully disguised the truth of what takes place at the abortion facility — killing unborn babies — and calls it “family planning.”

Moreover, Hill’s contention that these centers “help” women flies directly in the face of reality. Providing women with the pill, for instance, can be detrimental to their health, since the World Health Organization has classified the pill as a “Group I” carcinogen.

Both the WHO and the American Heart Association have reported serious risks about using oral contraceptives. These include high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes — not to mention potentially increased dangers of breast, cervical and liver cancers. Women, are you listening?

Last, Hill says protesters “know nothing about the women who come to Family Planning for health care.” Yes, we do. Several of our women know first-hand the dilemma these young women face, and they gently want to spare them from the emotional pain that will follow an abortion.

During these 40 Days for Life, then, it is especially important to come back to the question: “What is truth?” George Hill cannot deny, through diversionary platitudes, the unhealthy and death-dealing practices going on at the Maine Family Planning abortion facility.

Patricia Truman

Secretary, Pro-Life Education Association


Quebec today

Jane Martin performed a great service in telling BDN readers what Quebec is like today in her March 22 weekend OpEd, “What’s to fear about Quebec ban on government employees wearing religious garb?”

Life would be so much richer and more interesting, especially for us in northern Maine, if we were to become aware of what is going on in La Belle Province and see it as a partner in the development of a more vibrant, humane and creative North American culture.

How many windows would open for us were we taught to read French and speak and understand it? For this middle-age Anglophone, French is the college subject that has profited me the most.

Richard Clark


Vote Bellows

Although the general election is nearly eight months away, it’s a good time for us to start to get to know the candidates. The candidate for U.S. Senate that I feel most enthusiastic about is Shenna Bellows. She is the perfect combination of youth and experience. Her many years as the executive director of Maine ACLU have proven invaluable in learning how to build consensus among people of different points of view. She understands the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Some of the specific reasons I am supporting Bellows, a Democrat, are her strong position on issues such as a livable minimum wage; health care coverage for all Americans; investment in infrastructure (especially in rural areas); and repeal of the Patriot Act and an end to unnecessary and illegal NSA spying.

I believe these are issues most Mainers would agree with. So, the real question is, can she win? The obvious answer is, yes, she can, when we all come out and vote for her. Many elections have been won by very narrow margins and with relatively few people voting.

Once you get to know Bellows, I believe you will be as enthusiastic about her candidacy as I am. Please make an effort to participate in our democratic process by finding out more about her yourself. Attend an event, check out her website or Facebook page and, most importantly, vote for Bellows.

Sharon Lendvai


Health celebration

Hats off to each of you who are joining the over 5 million people already enrolled in a 2014 health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act. With a March 31 deadline, you can sign up online at, where you can preview plans and learn about premium subsidies, or by phone at 1-800-318-2596, or through the help of a trained navigator. (Locate one by calling 211.)

And a high five to everyone — moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors, leaders of faith — who are making a difference reaching out to uninsured family members, friends and neighbors to be certain they don’t miss the March 31 deadline.

We now live in a country where families no longer need to face bankruptcy because of a major illness or injury. There is much to celebrate.

Diane Smith


Corporate welfare queens

Looking at our current political system, I have to wonder if we’re a republic or an auction house. Do the concerns of voters matter, or do the needs and wants of the highest bidders take precedent? Maine is not exempt from the politics of dirty money infiltrating public life. Dark money weaves like a shadow. Its dark tentacles creep into the public life, squeezing freedom and opportunity from the public.

How can working people, who live paycheck to paycheck, stand against the awesome power of the economic royalists, whose never ending avarice have squeezed the middle class to the breaking point? Their power is so great, they have absurdly convinced half of voters that their interests are our interests.

This is where publicly funded elections come in. For the first time ever, regular people can compete with large law firms, corporate powers and wealthy donors. For $5, residents can help candidates qualify for Clean Election funding.

Imagine you, a working person, getting your voice heard for a change? Imagine representatives and senators, who will represent your interests, who won’t just verbalize platitudes when you come to their office but will truly work for you.

We have clean elections in Maine. We have candidates who can serve the will of the people, who can serve your will. Here is your chance to compete with the likes of Philip Morris, Stonehenge Capital, Time Warner Cable and the Law Offices of Bernstein Shur. It’s so easy — the website is, and push the contribute button.

So what are you waiting for? Go save our republic, and fund the campaigns to kick those crony corporate welfare queens out of office.

Jaric Fontaine