As we absorb and reflect on the results of last week’s U.S. presidential election and prepare for a new administration, one thing is clear: We will continue to fight for a world where all people have access to health care, where women and girls are empowered, and where all people have full control of their own bodies and can determine their own destinies.

We know many here in Maine are reeling from the outcome of the election and fear the uncertainty that comes with this transition. Already President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to roll back reproductive rights less than a week after the election. Rest assured, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is here to provide care and support for every community in Maine, no matter what. Our doors will stay open.

There is an expression often cited by people working in global health and diplomacy: “When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.” At times like these, when reproductive health access is actively under threat, we must acknowledge that the policies set by our government have an impact that extends not only to vulnerable communities here, but far beyond our borders to women, girls and marginalized communities around the world.

These women and girls may not have a voice in our elections, but our policymakers’ decisions in the weeks and months to come will affect their health and lives. The potential for rolling back human rights and increasing barriers to accessing health care comes on top of challenges that many women and girls already face, especially in humanitarian crises, which have become all too common in too many corners of the world.

Women and girls in humanitarian crises face an increased risk of a number of challenges, including gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality. Meeting their sexual and reproductive health needs is an essential component of the response to the global refugee crisis, whether in refugee camps abroad or for resettled communities here in the United States.

The U.S. plays a significant role in addressing these issues globally – and we should all be immensely proud of this work. U.S. funding and policies support a wide range of services for women and girls worldwide. This includes promoting gender equality, access to education for girls, preventing child, early and forced marriage and providing life-saving reproductive and maternal health care.

The U.S. also joins over 100 countries in contributing to international agencies like the U.N. Population Fund, which provides critical reproductive health supplies and trained personnel to ensure the needs of women and girls are met in emergencies ranging from the public health crisis created by Zika virus or the refugee crisis driven by conflict in Syria.

In Maine, we have welcomed refugees and migrants from over 30 countries, many within just the last 15 years. In Portland, individuals and families from crises all over the world have the opportunity to resettle yet still need the support of community based organizations to rebuild and thrive.

Maintaining U.S. support for programs that ensure women and girls have access to basic health care, no matter where they live, is critical. We are fortunate that southern Maine’s representation in Congress has a strong bipartisan record for supporting U.S. foreign aid and programs that advance the health and well-being of women and girls worldwide.

With growing numbers of women in the Senate, Sen. Susan Collins is well-positioned to serve as a senior leader and bipartisan deal maker to maintain support for programs that contribute to the empowerment of women and girls everywhere, like our family planning programs, and reject policy restrictions that undermine access to contraception and jeopardize the progress we’ve made to save and improve lives. If ever there was a time to double down on this support, it is now.

As a part of the global community, at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England we feel we have a shared mission in fighting for the rights of the most vulnerable communities at home and around the world. And we’ll deepen our commitment to defend the rights of all people and to advocate for the rights of women and girls everywhere, especially those who have no voice with our government.

To secure the world that we want and a healthy future for all, each of us – whether policymakers or community members – must step up to support women, girls and young people so that they can achieve their full potential, no matter who they are or where they live.

We invite members of the community to join us for a discussion at the Portland Public Library on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss “The Complicated Political Road Refugees Travel to Access Reproductive Health.”