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Abortion rights now a major focus for students and this year’s elections

March for reproductive rights at CCSU
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:31 AM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 12:26 PM EDT
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - Abortion rights rallies will continue around the country this week, including in Connecticut.

A large rally kicked off on Monday morning at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

CCSU’s faculty union, pro-choice students and community members took part in it at 11:45 a.m.

“[One,] I wanted my students, our students to know they can do something, they have a voice,” said Prof. Audra King, CCSU. “And that they should use that voice because even if it’s not directly going to affect them, we have an obligation to those who are going to be harmed. Two, I wanted to show people who are watching that people are upset.”

Students are taking finals now, but they felt it was critical to have their voices heard.

The fact that the Supreme Court could eliminate what has been a right for women in this country for nearly half a century has made them very concerned.

About 50 people marched on campus and several spoke about what this could mean for women across this country.

They are particularly worried about women of color and those with limited financial means.

Those women may not be able to travel to other states where abortions are legal.

They also worry about other rights that are now protected.

“100 percent I am concerned. If you read the decision it’s scary. Because a l lot of things that were not listed in the constitution are at stake here,” said Mia Dorantes, junior at CCSU. “You start chipping away at our human rights other things could go away too same sex marriage, interracial marriage and things like that. We fought so hard for rights as African Americans I’m afraid that will go away with decisions like this one.”

This has not only become an emotional issue but a political one.

“I am extremely happy that I live in the state of Connecticut right now. Connecticut is a state 30-some years ago codified Roe,” said Sen. Gary Winfield (D-New Haven).

There have been rallies all over the country and here in Connecticut.

As of now, 26 states would ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

That’s not the case here in Connecticut.

“I want to remind folks that abortion care is a healthcare, healthcare is a human right, and also people deserve an opportunity to thrive,” said Claudine Constant with the ACLU OF Connecticut.

This legislative session, lawmakers passed legislation that further protects a woman’s right to choose. It expands access and protects medical staff from performing abortions on women traveling from states where they’re banned.

Governor Lamont has already signed it.

The battle over abortion rights can be seen in similar protests around the country, as well as the floor of the U.S. Senate.

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, dozens of women in Kansas City protested in support of Roe v. Wade.

“Once they take away abortion, they’re going to take away birth control,” said Lorraine Goodrich, a protester. “I mean who knows what comes next? It’s a slippery slope.”

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to file a motion for a procedural vote on Monday, which could see a full Senate vote on the controversial issue Wednesday.

“I think Roe v. Wade created a Constitutional right that doesn’t exist in the written Constitution,” argued Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican, South Carolina. “It’s created division from the first day it was decided until now.”

The “Women’s Health Protection Act” bill to codify Roe, pushed by Schumer and other Senate Democrats, would need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome a GOP filibuster. Hitting that threshold looks unlikely.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal advocated for the swift passage of it during a news conference at 11 a.m. on Monday:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is advocating for the swift passage of a women’s health protection act the codify abortion access into federal law.

“If America’s people, America’s women, and men who love them, do not fight right now, we will lose the basic right to make decisions, to have bodily autonomy, and to decide what our futures look like,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat, New York.

Twenty-six states could ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, per a leaked draft opinion.

Students hold reproductive rights rally at CCSU
A large rally kicked off on Monday morning at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
CCSU’s faculty union, pro-choice students and community members said they will take part in a rally at 11:45 a.m. on Monday.
Organizers planned a pro-choice rally on CCSU's campus in New Britain.