Tag Archives: Roe v. Wade

Reproductive Rights Advocates Set Rally For Sunday

In the wake of today’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, local reproductive rights activists organized.

DefenDemocracy of CT announced a “Rally Against Regression” for this Sunday (June 26). It’s set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge over the Post Road in downtown Westport.

Hundreds Rally For Abortion Rights

Galvanized by news that the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, 500 people gathered in downtown Westport today.

The crowd on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge included women and men; girls and boys; parents, grandparents and grandchildren, and Governor Lamont, Senator Blumenthal and Congressman Himes.

A portion of the crowd, near the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. Congressman Jim Himes (center, behind the blonde woman) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (right, blue jacket) mingled with attendees.

They held signs. They chanted. They cheered when passing drivers honked in support.

They listened intently to speakers — not just politicians, but two obstetricians, and women with close experience with illegal abortions.

Educator Joy Colon addresses the crowd. Signs held up behind describe resources to help women in states with restrictive abortion laws.

Lamont — who will sign a first-in-the-nation bill protecting medical providers and patients seeking abortion care here, and expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform abortion-related care in the state — noted that the downtown bridge is the site of many rallies. He called it “the conscience of Connecticut.”

“Keep your hands off our women, our doctors, our justice,” he warned those seeking to curtail abortion rights.

Lamont introduced State Representative Matt Blumenthal, who was a driving force behind the new Connecticut law, also spoke.

Blumenthal introduced his father. The US senator said he was “proud to be in this fight for decades.”

The crowd included many young people — including boys.

Himes said that people who “claim to be conservative want to overturn 50 years of settled law.” He praised 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker — standing at the front of the crowd — as a Republican ally. 

(From left): Governor Lamont and Senator Blumenthal listen to Congressman Jim Himes.

Rally organizer Darcy Hicks then noted that it was time for women to speak.

Rally organizer Darcy Hicks

Dr. Janet Lefkowitz — a Westport native, Staples High School graduate, and prominent OB/GYN and assistant professor at Brown University who provides abortion care in Southern states — recounted her difficult experiences in Mississippi and Alabama. She did not become a doctor to get involved in politics, she said — but it has become part of her patient care.

Fellow OB/GYN Dr. Shieva Ghofrany of Stamford said that people who are pro-choice “truly honor the living.” Noting that comprehensive sex education reduces unwanted pregnancies, she urged those who are pro-life to embrace education, maternal leave, and contraception.

Teacher and Trumbull Town Council member Joy Colon spoke of the impact of overturning Roe v. Wade on people of color. “People who look like me should not die because they don’t want to be pregnant,” she said.

(All photos/Dan Woog)

Rev. Haffner Celebrates Roe

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in favor of Roe, in the important abortion case versus Wade.

Two days ago, Rev. Debra Haffner — community minister with Westport’s Unitarian Church, and president and CEO of the Westport-based Religious Institute (a national multifaith organization advocating for sexual health, education and justice) –celebrated the event.

Rev. Debra Haffner

Rev. Debra Haffner

She led the litany at a special service at Washington’s First Congregational United Church of Christ. Attendees included elected officials and their staffs who have worked tirelessly in the area of abortion rights. The sponsor was the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Organizations represented included Catholics for Choice, and the National Latino Roundtable.

“We held these men and women in our prayers for their courageous support of reproductive justice,” Rev. Haffner said.

She called abortion “a moral decision that should be left to a woman, her family, her doctor and her faith.”

Rev. Haffner said the service was “beautiful. There was wonderful music, plenty of enthusiasm, a rabbi and several Christian ministers.”

One highlight: an award given to an African-American doctor. For years, he was the only abortion provider in the state of Mississippi.

But, Rev. Haffner says, the battle for reproductive rights is not yet over.

“I was 18 — a freshman at Wesleyan — when I learned that Roe v. Wade had been decided.

“I’m now 58, and post-menopausal. I never could have imagined that we’d still be fighting this fight.”