“Rally Against Regression” Draws Hundreds To Bridge

For the 3rd time in less than 2 months, hundreds of residents thronged the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, to show support for reproductive rights.

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

This time, they protested what they only feared twice before. On Friday, the Supreme Court declared Roe v. Wade — for 49 years, settled law affirming a right to abortion — unconstitutional.

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

The rally marked the second time that Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes delivered forceful remarks about a woman’s right to choose to a Westport crowd.

Congressman Jim Himes speaks. Senator Richard Blumenthal and rally organizer Darcy Hicks look on. (Photo/Charlie Scott)

Other speakers included Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewiez, Governor Ned Lamont’s wife Annie, State Representative Stephanie Thomas, and DefenDemocracy rally co-organizer Darcy Hicks.

They spoke against a backdrop of flags of 193 nations — part of Westport’s annual jUNe Day celebration yesterday.

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker — who issued a statement yesterday affirming her commitment to protecting women’s rights to choose — was among the large crowd.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, at today’s rally. (Photo/Charlie Scott)

Protestors included men as well as women, and families with young children.

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

(Photo/David Vita)

They were all ages, too.

(Photo/David Vita)

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

Crowds gather early, on both sides of the bridge. (Drone photo/Charlie Scott)

(Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

(Drone photo/Charlie Scott)

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

Many drivers honked in support. This one had their own sign. (Photo/David Vita)

(Photo/Charlie Scott)

27 responses to ““Rally Against Regression” Draws Hundreds To Bridge

  1. It’s nice to see Republican Jen Tooker at the rally. If she’s the ardent supporter of abortion rights that she is portraying, how does she rectify being a member of and supporting a party that has systematically disassembled that right? Now that, according to a number of various Republican politicians and at least one supreme court justice, how does she rectify her presences at Pride events, with the members of her party who want to reexamine gay marriage?

    If I belonged to an organization that supported things that I truly diametrically and vehemently opposed, I would resign.

    • Ginny Moriarty

      Party affiliation is not directly correlated to one’s stance on abortion. Louisiana has a Democrat governor (John Bel Edwards) who signed into law an abortion restriction law. This issue transcends party lines.

      Also, as a side note, a majority of those who are pro-life are women (not men). So really it is women (not men) who are standing in the way of a woman’s right to choose. They’re the ones who are voting for pro-life politicians in states where abortion is banned. It’s as simple as that.

      • Yes, Ginny, you can find singular examples of outliers in the Democratic and Republican parties. That having been said, I think the party who bares almost all responsibility here is beyond obvious.

        As for your second point, Gallup disagrees. Men identify pro-choice over “pro-life” 48/47. Women identify pro-choice over “pro-life” 61/33.


        • Ginny Moriarty

          Nice try, but that poll does not break out the composition of who is pro-life. Instead, it breaks out the composition of each gender individually, which is a different break-out and does not refute my point.

          By the way, didn’t Gallup predict a Hillary victory back in 2016?

          • With respect, Ginny, your point was to distract from the rather obvious conclusion that the Republican party owns this, right? I didn’t miss it.

          • Russell Gontar

            85% of Americans support abortion rights in most cases, but not all.

            But it is false to claim that it is “women” who are standing in the way of a woman’s right to choose. In fact, it is the five corrupt SC judges who just blew up the concept of legal precedence and decided to act because they could. In particular, Kavanugh and Gorsuch should be noted by their decision to perjure themselves during their conformation hearings. That means they lied under oath which is a federal crime. Now, your rights of as an American depend on the vagaries of where your mailbox is located and your personal resources.

            “You know, this used to be a hell of a good country.”

    • Thanks for that comment, Mark. It’s important and Ms. Moriarity is dead wrong about party affiliation…if any Republican does not have the guts to speak out against all the egregious legislation promulgated only by Republicans, and all the vile people promulgating such, then that Republican is as culpable as are all the un-American,reprehensible ones in Washington…that includes Tooker.

  2. Susan Farley

    just curious: (you know better than I do because I live in downtown NYC), are those what, like 100-150 people actually Westport/Weston people, or did people travel into Westport, CT to the RS Bridge to join the protest in Westport?

    • John F. Suggs

      Susan, I, a long time Westporter, was there today and I saw a lot of fellow neighbors and friends in the crowd. If I had to guess I would say it was primarily local people.

    • Amy Leonard

      Susan what point are you trying to make? That Westporters don’t care about important issues, we have to import them from out of town? Not sure why you are judging the Westport population since you don’t live here. You could not be more wrong.

    • What is your point Susan? The people in this Town care vigorously for their causes. We really do not need to import people from other places to have a demonstration. Again, what is your point?

  3. Stephanie Gordon

    Proud of my town and state. Everyone needs to seek out and support legislators across the country that support gun laws and the right to choose.

  4. George Eagan

    Another great photo op for Darcy Hicks. Invoking zero change.

  5. Jen Tooker’s support of abortion rights is about as authentic as Brett Kavanaugh’s declaration that he wouldn’t vote to overturn Roe. (And I got a robocall tonight from the Second Selectwoman declaring that Toni Boucher is an ardent defender of abortion rights. Oy vey.) These are simply political opportunists, declaring a popular position locally, with no real authenticity behind their stance. As with Republicans like Susan Collins, I’m sure they would vociferously furrow their brows at a loss of abortion rights, but wouldn’t truly care, if they could hold elected positions while marching in the party of Trump. If you vote for these people, you are simply voting to help mainstream the party of sedition. Don’t pretend otherwise.

  6. Tina Torraco

    Pro choice women that I know transcend political parties. I have friends on either side who think alike . I for one would love to stop making our female bodies affiliated as political tools. I say brava to our First Selectwomen for standing up for female choice! #mybodymychoice#always

    • Chris Grimm

      While I appreciate that optimistic take, it belies the political actions in recent decades. The GOP has had an anti abortion stance in its platform for many years. Republican who claim to be pro-choice are turning a blind eye to that. Presumably because they think that there are issues that are more important than women having agency over their own bodies.

      Republicans have given us this conservative activist Supreme Court, with five justices who were chosen by Republican presidents who won election with a minority of the vote, three who were chosen by a twice-impeached seditionist who has sewn the false narrative that he should still be President, and one who is married to a leading advocate of the Big Lie.

      Republicans have also opposed the investigation of the seditious attacks of January 6. One only look at the votes on the investigation (and impeachment). These are mainstream Republican office holders. To local Republicans who speak up against the actions of January 6, I say ‘talk is cheap.’ They are choosing to stand with the seditionists. Republicans in power across the country have fought to roll back measures that make it easier for people to legally vote. And again I ask, what issues are more important to them than a functioning constitutional democracy?

  7. Steve Stein

    I am confused- if all our local Westport GOP officials support pro choice women, support sane gun measures, support the LGBTQ community, believe in climate change, support fair election access, advocate for COVID vaccination and masking according to the science, agree that January 6 was an act of sedition – and don’t agree that the last election was stolen- sounds to me that on all the important issues facing us today our local politicians are in fact- supporting the Democrat platform.

    So my question is- Why are they supporting a national GOP whose platform is the exact opposite for their beliefs!

  8. The Westport Republican Town Committee donated $286.15 to “Trump Make America Great Again Committee” on August 27, 2020. The members of the RTC include all Republican elected officials in town. Spare us the TED Talks about how you’re actually nonpartisan, how your party designation is a mere function of Connecticut ballots, etc. Denounce that contribution now; we’ll wait. But while your money is in Trump’s pocket, you don’t get to put your mouths somewhere else.

    • ^ this right here. Westport Republican officials are simply being opportunists while reading the room. Talk is cheap.

      Maybe someone in the Westport RTC can tell us how it was decided to contribute to the Trump committee, if all these local Republicans are so taken aback by this behavior.

  9. Bill Strittmatter

    It’s pretty clear that neither Republicans nor Democrats are monolithic in their beliefs. Strikes me that one can be a member of either party without sharing all of the beliefs of the most extreme member, or even the majority of members of said party if, directionally, one is more comfortable, in a relative sense, with one party or the other. Personally, I am a member of neither.

    However, attacking folks for doing or not doing something because of the actions of a subset of members seems a bit extreme and strikes me as part of what has led to the deterioration of civil discourse in this country. Do all Democrats in Westport embrace and own every action by their fellow party members? Doubtful. But I haven’t heard a call to reject their party due to the more extreme positions of “the squad” nor, more locally, the Curious George racist trope invoked by certain fellow Connecticut Democrats.

    On a related note, you really can’t conclude actions or outcomes are legitimate only when it agrees with your views or does with what you want, but illegitimate when it doesn’t. Indeed, that would almost be…like Trump.

    I voted for Romney, not Obama, but, for better or worse, he was my President. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 – the man was scum. But, for better or worse, he was my President. I voted for Biden and, for better or worse, he is my President.

    But the “not my President” drumbeat after Trump was elected in 2016 was what? Sort of sounds like rejection of the legitimate outcome of an election? And while it did not deteriorate to January 6th violence, the aggressive pursuit of the now discredited Steele dossier in an attempt to delegitimize the Trump presidency was, arguably, a non-violent coup attempt.

    In retrospect there certainly were plenty of Democrats that knew the truth and could have stopped it but sat by quietly, if not encouraged, the “investigation” to further their agenda or electoral strategy. How many Democrats have spoken out against those that pursued and/or enabled that agenda? Or was that OK because it happened to agree with their beliefs and/or undermined the scum that was President. How many demonstrated the “bravery” of Liz Cheney?

    On the immediate topic, I’m with the pro-choice crowd on the abortion but, for better or worse, the Supreme Court, which, like it or not, was seated in accordance with the Constitution, made a decision to reverse a previous decision that, by the way, more than half the country didn’t like when it was originally handed down. Don’t like the decision? Work to have either individual states or the federal government enact appropriate laws. Or amend the Constitution. But, like it or not, it is your Supreme Court.

    And, circling back to where we started, if you can’t get the result you want within the bounds of the Constitution, what do you suppose that means (other than people in red states are obviously stupid)? And, if you jump to the “stupid” conclusion, 1) what do you suppose their reaction will be when you call them that and 2) how do you think one can forward civil discourse when you attack them that way?

  10. Chris Grimm

    Spoken like an apologist Republican.

    Outliers? This is the mainstream of the GOP. This is the 6 member conservative activist majority on the Supreme Court. This is the vast majority of Congressional Republicans who have rejected even investigations of the seditionist activities of Trump.

    I get it. You aren’t a racist. You aren’t a sexist. You aren’t anti-democracy. You coincidentally support these awful people because you want your income taxes lowered by a dollar. And a dollar is more important to you than these other things. I get it.

    At least pretend you care in the slightest about out constitutional democracy. Pretend it is worth more than a dollar.