Vice President Kamala Harris visits CCSU
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - Vice President Kamala Harris was at Central Connecticut State University Wednesday for a conversation on reproductive rights.
She is also visiting Connecticut to support Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who is running for re-election.
Harris spoke for about 45 minutes Wednesday afternoon.
The focus of her visit was reproductive rights and how women have been impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Harris received a standing ovation when she took the stage at Davidson Hall.
She was joined by the Alexis McGill Johnson, the president of Planned Parenthood, and Hayes.
Harris said the supreme court has taken away women’s rights and freedom to make their own decisions. She said this is a time to be vigilant and mobilize.
“Bring everybody together in a way we build a coalition. Also I want to remind people what is an essential point, which is that no one should be made to fight alone, especially when fighting for fundamental rights,” said Harris.
The vice president said it is important that a national federal law be passed to protect these rights, especially in situations of rape and incest. She also said the world is watching us, and what has happened to women here in a democracy would affect women all over the world.
Hayes is up for a tough re-election fight and abortion is an important issue.
“There was a movement on this issue that was started generations ago, and a milestone and success of that movement was Roe v. Wade which was about half a century ago. And it is now incumbent on us as leaders of this movement to pick up that movement and do what’s necessary,” said Harris.
Hayes who is seeking her third term, was on the stage with the vice president.
“People in my district care about this issue,” Hayes said.
Hayes said women and men have asked her to protect this right and the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe has impacted women all over the country.
“We already know that people who are most affected are the people who are already have been living in the margins of systems, they have already faced a lot of barriers to care,” said McGill Johnson.
The vice president spoke out against some Republican proposals in Connecticut requiring parental notification, that even in cases of sexual assault they would have to report it. While Harris told the crowd this was not a political event, she did say this about Hayes: ‘Please send her back to congress.”
“My opponent is in Washington to support the current Democratic leadership in Washington and this is a prime example,” said George Logan, Hayes’ Republican challenger.
Abortion has been a hotly debated issue between Hayes and former state Sen. George Logan, her Republican opponent for Connecticut’s 5th District Congressional seat.
“I don’t think people understand what national implications are still out there, so just really understanding that this administration is fighting nationally to protect women’s health,” Hayes said.
“Women’s reproductive rights are very important to me,” Logan said. “I support a woman’s right to choose as long as it’s safe, fair and legal. And that has been my stance as a state senator. It’s my stance as a former state senator and as a future congressman.”
Hayes said young women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.
“This ruling did not only have implications for abortion access but for the right to contraceptive and legality of same sex and inter-racial marriages,” said Hayes.
While abortion is an important issue, it’s the economy and the cost of living many voters are concerned about.
“This is not a political event, this is a fact,” Harris said.
Republicans, including Logan, say the vice president’s trip was an effort to help Hayes and Democrats.
“They are desperate, right because we are surging in the polls, more importantly we are surging in the community. And we have the better message,” Logan said.
Zulma R. Toro, CCSU president, said Harris’s advanced team began making preparations for the visit on Monday.
“As a public university that embraces open discourse no matter one’s politics, we are pleased to have an opportunity to showcase our campus at the national level, and we look forward to welcoming the vice president,” she said.
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