NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Applauds House and Senate Democrats for Pro-Choice Legislative Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2018 – NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut applauds House and Senate Democratic leadership for making a commitment to reproductive freedom in their 2018 legislative agenda. We were moved to hear Senator Mae Flexer, Senator Beth Bye, Representative Robyn Porter, and Representative Caroline Simmons talk about the importance of women making their own healthcare decisions, supported by policies giving them access to healthcare and paid family and medical leave.

Sarah Croucher, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut’s Executive Director, said, “We echo the words of our Democratic allies today in raising the importance of reproductive freedom for families across our state. We are heartened to see anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers also taken up as an issue by our legislature this year.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut will be working alongside these legislators to make this agenda a reality, and we look forward to continuing this work with bipartisan support from pro-choice legislators from every political party. Together, we can ensure that everyone in our state continues to have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, free from deception and shame.

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.  

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Rejects Trump’s Fringe Agenda in the State of the Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2018 – After Donald Trump delivered the annual State of the Union address, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Executive Director Sarah Croucher issued the following statement:

“The day after another failed vote on an unconstitutional abortion ban, Donald Trump’s State of the Union comes at a time when the anti-choice GOP is obsessed with attacking our reproductive rights like never before. Trump and the Republican Party he leads are working overtime to ban abortion and chip away at the reproductive rights of Connecticut women.  

“Donald Trump and the anti-choice GOP could not be more out-of-step with the challenges Connecticut families confront every day. There is nothing ‘pro-life’ about attacking the healthcare of thousands of Connecticut women and families, and rolling back our reproductive rights at every turn. Seven in 10 Americans support legal and accessible abortion, including the majority of Connecticut residents that stand on the side of reproductive freedom. NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut members are ready to fight back, and as the midterms approach we’ll keep mobilizing and organizing to elect pro-choice champions to fight for us and our shared values.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.  
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. 

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Joins Pro-Choice Politicians on Roe v. Wade Anniversary to Reaffirm Commitment to Reproductive Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2018 – Two days after the 2018 Women’s March saw 10,000 people gather in Hartford, a group of pro-choice legislators is marking the 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a press conference to discuss policies aimed at improving reproductive rights in the upcoming legislative session.

At the march on Saturday, we felt the incredible grassroots energy around reproductive rights, and on today’s Roe anniversary, this energy is echoed by the actions of this group of legislative champions. At this time of unprecedented attacks on our reproductive freedoms in DC, having pro-choice politicians who are willing to stand up for reproductive rights and access to healthcare is vital to the people of Connecticut.

Connecticut has made huge gains in reproductive health but significant healthcare disparities remain. Today, we are drawing attention to these disparities and the policies proposed are important steps in the direction of improved healthcare access and outcomes for people across our state.

Among the legislative priorities highlighted is the issue of crisis pregnancy centers, and the threat these anti-choice organizations pose to healthcare access. “I am particularly heartened that following on the success of the ordinance in Hartford addressing the deceptive practices of crisis pregnancy centers, members of the State Legislature are taking this issue seriously.” said Sarah Croucher, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut’s Executive Director, “It is vital that when individuals in our state are seeking healthcare, they are able to access it without risk of deception by anti-choice forces.”

There is no room for compromise on healthcare access and reproductive freedom here in our state. In this time of increased attacks on human rights at the federal level, it is even more important for state and local politicians to take a stand and speak out in support of these rights. NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is proud to stand with legislators who are willing to take action on these issues.

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.  
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. 

 

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Supports Activists on First Anniversary of Women’s March

January 19 2018 – On Saturday, January 20, 2018, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut will stand in solidarity with thousands of others at the State Capitol to mark the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March, a moment that inspired 10,000 activists in Hartford—and millions more around the world—to raise their voices to oppose the inauguration of President Trump.

As we approach the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is vital that we vocalize our commitment to reproductive freedom as part of this moment of continued resistance. The first year of the Trump administration has seen increased threats to this freedom, launched from every possible governmental agency, and renewed attacks on the human rights of every individual in this country. These attacks are unacceptable and strike at the very heart of our ability to make decisions about our own bodies and futures.

This is a moment to recommit to an unyielding resistance to these attacks while reflecting on the progress this resistance has paved the way for in our state. Here in Connecticut, the past year has included increased protections for pregnant workers, limitations on the deceptive practices of anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers in Hartford, and an increased grassroots activist base willing to stand up and speak out on issues of choice and reproductive freedom.

“It is important to take this moment to reflect on the progress we have made over the last year, including the strides the state has taken to protect and advance reproductive rights, while recognizing how far we still have to go,” says NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Executive Director, Sarah Croucher. “The right of every individual to bodily autonomy, which includes the right to safe, legal abortion, is under renewed threat at the Federal level. We must continue to stand together to resist these attacks, while strengthening these rights here in Connecticut. We welcome the energy of the Women’s March as a chance for us to gather and reaffirm our commitment for the fights to come.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.  
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. 

Hartford City Council Passes ‘Pregnancy Information and Disclosure Protection Ordinance.’

December 11, 2017 – This evening Hartford City Council passed an ordinance regulating the false advertising practices of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). The ordinance was originally proposed by Mayor Luke Bronin and passed the Council with seven votes in favor, one recusal, and one abstention.  

CPCs are fake clinics that outnumber licensed family planning clinics in Connecticut. CPCs use deceptive tactics to try to stop patients seeking genuine reproductive healthcare from accessing abortions. One aggressive crisis pregnancy center has moved in on the same premises as the last independent abortion clinic in Connecticut, Hartford GYN Center, in order to target patients of the clinic. The CPC has lured patients in by claiming their appointments are with the CPC, and has given them misleading information. Patients have been told things such as they are “sinning” and risking death by seeking a straightforward medical procedure.

The ‘Pregnancy Information and Disclosure Protection Ordinance’ will prohibit crisis pregnancy centers from disseminating false, misleading, or deceptive information about the services they provide. It also requires crisis pregnancy centers to tell people who enter their facilities whether or not there is actually a licensed medical provider on the premises and available to provide medical services. This ordinance is intended to protect the rights of women in Hartford who right now are being lied to, misled, and deceived when they are seeking reproductive healthcare. 

Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut said, “We are delighted that council members have responded so strongly to this threat to women’s health and passed the ordinance proposed by Mayor Bronin. This ordinance is a common sense measure to protect healthcare access. We are proud to have worked with the Mayor, the City Council, and numerous others, in crafting a reasonable solution to protect women’s health.”

The administrator of Hartford GYN Center said, “We are grateful to the City Council for passing this ordinance. Since 1981, Hartford GYN Center has served the Hartford community by providing abortion care by licensed physicians and practitioners, as well as well-woman visits and the full range of reproductive health care, always based on accurate, trustworthy medical information. We've seen firsthand the dangers that CPCs pose by luring in patients and doing whatever it takes to convince them not to have an abortion -- even if that means lying to them about their pregnancies. This ordinance will protect our patients and the wider Hartford community from CPCs' deceptive practices.”

Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) said, “In passing this ordinance, the Hartford City Council took a stand for a woman’s right to accurate, trustworthy, medically accurate information, and against the lies and manipulation pedaled by crisis pregnancy centers. Hartford now joins the ranks of cities across the country that are regulating CPCs, and NIRH was proud to work with NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and other advocates to pass this critical legislation.” 

 

                                                                                  ###                                                                  

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Hartford Takes a Stand Against Fake Clinics at Public Hearing

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21, 2017 – Hartford City Council held a public hearing last night on Mayor Luke Bronin’s “Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection” ordinance regulating the false advertising practices of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs).
 
Hundreds showed up for the hearing, with significant support from Hartford residents in favor of the ordinance. Many from Hartford spoke about the importance of accessing real reproductive healthcare and the harm done by CPCs within Hartford, including testimony from doctors and a midwife practicing in the city. Those opposed to the ordinance largely came from outside the city. Almost all of this testimony related to CPCs outside of Hartford, which would be unaffected by this proposed ordinance. Many anti-choice activists devoted their time to railing against abortion in general, clearly not understanding the purpose and scope of this ordinance.
 
The ordinance will prohibit CPCs within Hartford from disseminating false, misleading, or deceptive information about the services they provide, and from deceiving women into thinking that they provide specific services, like abortion, when they don’t. It also requires these CPCs to tell people who enter their facilities whether or not there is actually a licensed medical provider on the premises and available to provide medical services. This ordinance is intended to protect the rights of women in Hartford who right now are being lied to, misled, and deceived when they are seeking reproductive healthcare.
 
Dozens of Hartford residents, medical and legal professionals, Hartford community advocates, and pro-choice activists attended to show their support for access to nonjudgmental reproductive healthcare. Those who testified in support of the ordinance included representatives from ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and Physicians for Reproductive Health; legal experts from Yale University and the National Institute for Reproductive Health; and representatives from organizations serving Hartford communities such as True Colors, the Hispanic Health Council, and Moral Monday CT. Several individuals who have been personally deceived by this fake clinic also shared their stories, or had their stories shared on their behalf for those who wanted to remain anonymous.
 
Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut said, “This ordinance sends an important message, that the people of Hartford will not tolerate women being deceived when they are trying to access time-sensitive medical care. That message was heard loud and clear at tonight’s public hearing. I am thankful to the many Hartford residents, healthcare providers, legal experts, and representatives from community groups who spoke out in support of the ordinance and care about this issue.”

 # # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.  
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Fighting Fake Clinics

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2017 – Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and the Hartford City Council last night introduced an ordinance regulating the false advertising practices of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs).

CPCs are fake clinics that outnumber licensed family planning clinics in Connecticut. CPCs use deceptive tactics to try to stop patients seeking genuine reproductive healthcare from accessing abortions. One aggressive crisis pregnancy center has moved in on the same premises as the last independent abortion clinic in Connecticut, Hartford GYN Center, in order to target patients of the clinic. The CPC has changed its name from “St. Gerard’s Center for Life” to “Hartford Women’s Center” in order to confuse and intercept patients who are seeking abortion care and have appointments with the Hartford GYN Center. The CPC has lured patients in by claiming their appointments are with the CPC, and then gives them misleading information. Patients have been told things such as that they are “sinning” and risking death by seeking a straightforward medical procedure.

The ordinance will prohibit crisis pregnancy centers from disseminating false, misleading, or deceptive information about the services they provide, and from deceiving women into thinking that they provide specific services, like abortion, when they don’t. It also requires crisis pregnancy centers to tell people who enter their facilities whether or not there is actually a licensed medical provider on the premises and available to provide medical services. This ordinance is intended to protect the rights of women in Hartford who right now are being lied to, misled, and deceived when they are seeking reproductive healthcare. It has been referred to the Hartford City Council Health and Human Services Committee for a public hearing as the next step toward passing this vital protection.

Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut said, “We are heartened to see the Mayor of Hartford and council members respond so strongly to this threat to women’s health. It is unimaginable that a woman seeking an abortion would be lied to, shamed, and given medically incorrect information when she thinks she is in a real medical office. Yet that is happening on a regular basis right here in Hartford, and we are proud to have worked with the Mayor, the City Council, and numerous others, in crafting a reasonable solution to protect women’s health.”

The administrator of Hartford GYN Center said, “We are grateful to Mayor Bronin and the City Council for recognizing the need for this ordinance. Since 1981, the Hartford GYN Center has served the Hartford community by providing abortion care by licensed physicians and practitioners, as well as well woman visits and the full range of reproductive health care, always based on accurate, trustworthy medical information. We've seen firsthand the dangers that CPCs pose by luring in patients and doing whatever it takes to convince them not to have an abortion -- even if that means lying to them about their pregnancies. This ordinance will protect our patients and the wider Hartford community from CPCs' deceptive practices.”

Priscilla Smith, Clinical Lecturer in Law and Senior Fellow at the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice, Information Society Project, Yale Law School said, “The First Amendment does not protect false advertising or someone who impersonates a medical provider.  The ordinance is carefully drafted in accordance with this well-established legal doctrine, and simply prevents pregnancy centers from using deceptive tactics and lying to women about the nature of the services they provide.  It does not prevent anyone from expressing their opinions on abortion or from attempting to dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion.”

Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, said, “When a woman is pregnant she needs access to trustworthy and quality care, not junk science. Through this ordinance, Hartford is both protecting access to accurate, trustworthy medical care for women, and exemplifying what it means to be a leader in local reproductive health policy. This is exactly the kind of proactive, forward-thinking action we need to see from mayors, city councils, and advocates across the country. We applaud our Connecticut partners and Mayor Bronin for advancing this effort, and encourage the City Council wholeheartedly approve this measure.”

###                                                 

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC Endorses Municipal Candidates (Second Round)

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 17, 2017

Hartford, CT – In the current political climate, support for reproductive rights matters at every level of politics. NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC is proud to endorse candidates running for municipal office from every corner of our state who are vocal in their support for reproductive rights.

At the local level, politicians can support proactive policies such as comprehensive sexual health education. They are the future of pro-choice politics in our state, and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC is proud to have endorsed candidates representing many different types of communities. We hope that this municipal endorsement process will help drive forward evidence-based policies supporting reproductive rights in the future.

“Given the current continued attacks on reproductive healthcare, it is vitally important that we elect pro-choice candidates to local office this November,” says NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC President Jillian Gilchrest.“Reproductive rights might not seem of immediate importance at the local level, but reproductive freedom begins locally. These endorsements are building the bench of pro-choice candidates and supporting local reproductive rights and healthcare issues.”

Endorsement list of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC:

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC endorses the following candidates for municipal office in November 2017. Endorsements are given only to candidates who are deemed by NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC to be 100% pro-choice. Endorsements are listed by town, with offices sought and party listed with candidate names.

A full list of endorsements, including those endorsed in our first round, can be found here.

Fairfield:

  • Tara Cook-Littman (D), RTM District 1

 Glastonbury:

  • Jill Barry (D), Town Council

New Haven:

  • Darryl Brackeen Jr. (D), Alder, Ward 26

New London:

  • Alisha Blake (Working Families), Board of Education

Waterford:

  • Deborah Roselli Kelly (D), Board of Education

West Hartford:

  • Leon S. Davidoff (D), Town Council

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC
The PAC works to support politicians who are in favor of pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the state capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. 

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC Endorses Municipal Candidates

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2017

Hartford, CTIn the current political climate, support for reproductive rights matters at every level of politics. NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC is proud to endorse candidates running for municipal office from every corner of our state who are vocal in their support for reproductive rights.

 At the local level, politicians can support proactive policies such as comprehensive sexual health education. They are the future of pro-choice politics in our state, and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC is proud to have endorsed a large number of candidates representing many different types of communities. We hope that this municipal endorsement process will help drive forward evidence-based policies supporting reproductive rights in the future.

“Ensuring women have access to, and control over, their reproductive health is an issue at the federal, state, and local level,” says NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC President Jillian Gilchrest. “We are so pleased to be building the bench of pro-choice candidates and supporting local reproductive rights and healthcare issues with our inaugural municipal endorsements.”

Candidates may continue to be endorsed until October 1, 2017. Endorsement information can be found at our website: www.reprorightsct.org.

Endorsement list of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC:

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC endorses the following candidates for municipal office in November 2017. Endorsements are given only to candidates who are deemed by the NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC to be 100% pro-choice. Endorsements are listed by town, with offices sought and party listed with candidate names.

Coventry:

  • Sam Norman (D), Town Council

Fairfield:

  • Greg Alprin (D), RTM District 10
  • Dru Georgiadis (D), RTM District 9
  • Laura Karson (D), RTM District 10
  • Lisa Winjum (D), RTM District 10

Granby:

  • Brandon Webster (D), Board of Education

Manchester:

  • Yolanda Castillo (D), Board of Directors
  • Pamela Floyd Cranford (D), Board of Directors
  • Sarah Jones (D), Board of Directors
  • Tracy Maio (D), Board of Education

Milford:

  • Rita Hennessey (D), Board of Education
  • Nija Phelps (D), 1st District Board of Aldermen
  • Anthony Sutton (D), 4th District Board of Aldermen

New Britain:

  • Merrill Gay (D), Mayor

New Haven:

  • Charles Decker (D), Ward 9 Alder

Orange:

  • Mitch Goldblatt (D), Selectman

Stratford:

  • Tina Manus (D), 10th District Councilor

Waterford:

  • Carl D’Amato (Green), Representative Town Meeting
  • Joshua Kelly (D & Green), Representative Town Meeting
  • Baird Welch-Colins (Green), Representative Town Meeting

West Hartford:

  • Shari Cantor (D), Town Council
  • Cheryl Greenberg (D), Board of Education
  • Beth Kerrigan (D), Town Council
  • Liam Sweeney (D), Town Council
  • Ben Wenograd (D), Town Council

Westport:

  • Melissa Kane (D), First Selectman
  • Rob Simmelkjaer (D), Second Selectman

 

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC
The PAC works to support politicians who are in favor of pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the state capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Governor Malloy Signs Workers Pregnancy Protection Bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 6, 2017

Today, Governor Malloy signed H.B. 6668 – An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace – into law. This bill expands employment protections for pregnancy and related conditions (including lactation) under the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, released the following statement: "Protections for pregnant workers are a vital part of the economic stability of our state. We must do all we can to ensure continuity of employment for working mothers. Women can least afford to lose their job when pregnant, particularly for need of a short-term accommodation. This legislation will help support the financial security of families across our state.”

House Chair of the Labor Committee, State Representative Robyn Porter said: "Today, Connecticut reached an important milestone when Gov. Malloy signed into law House Bill 6668, which further strengthens workplace protections for pregnant women. Working women are the backbone of our community. This legislation ensures working women are able to grow and thrive – in both their personal and professional lives – by providing them with the resources needed to pursue a career while raising a family.”

This legislation makes clear the types of accommodations usually required by pregnant women (including assistance with manual labor, more frequent or longer breaks, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or less hazardous work). The bill also protects women from being discriminated against when pregnant, including barring employers from forcing an employee to take an accommodation that she does not require while pregnant.

This bill was part of a package of proactive legislation originally sponsored by Senator Mae Flexer alongside Representatives Robyn Porter, Liz Linehan, Caroline Simmons, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Kelly Juleson-Scopino, and Christine Conley.

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Statement Of Naral Pro-Choice Connecticut On Senate Republican Healthcare Bill - “An Insult To Connecticut Women, To Connecticut Families, And To The Democratic Process”

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2017

NARAL Pro-choice Connecticut Executive Director Sarah Croucher issued this statement today in response to the release of the Republican healthcare bill.

"This bill is an insult to Connecticut women, Connecticut families, and to the democratic process itself. It not only allows states to opt out of the insurance requirement to cover maternity care, it could eliminate the contraception coverage requirement and ban private insurance from covering abortion care. Women’s reproductive health care would essentially be zeroed out altogether by the Republican bill.

Connecticut is a pro-choice state. Our legislature supports the right of individuals to make decisions about abortion that are in line with their personal beliefs. This bill would ban private insurance from covering abortion care. Women purchasing their insurance plans from the Connecticut healthcare exchange would have to pay out of pocket if they need an abortion. Not acceptable.

This is just one of the many reasons Republicans are trying to jam this bill through with no hearings and no testimony from Connecticut medical organizations and Connecticut citizens.  It is wrong.

We will be communicating this "No on Trumpcare” message to our thousands of members and supporters across the state. And we will be asking them to call Senators Blumenthal and Murphy to thank them for their strong and vociferous opposition to this attack on Connecticut women and their health care.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Anti-Choice Amendment Kills Contraception Bill

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2017

On the final day of the legislative session in Connecticut, the House of Representatives tabled debate without a vote on S.B. 586, An Act Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents. S.B. 586 was intended to protect current ACA provisions for women’s preventive services with no cost sharing. The bill included coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive and sterilization methods. This legislation would have ensured that no matter what happens at the federal level, access to contraceptives and other vital medical care will be available through insurance plans to Connecticut women, regardless of income level.

The bill was introduced in the House by Representative Sean Scanlon (D), who spoke about the importance of passing this bill on the anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, a landmark case in the right for birth control. Representatives Liz Linehan (D) and Kelly Lunxenburg (D), both co-sponsors of the bill, also spoke eloquently about the fact that access to the healthcare covered by this bill is a human right.

State Representative Rob Sampson (R), then began to speak about insurance mandates raising costs. However, S.B. 586 only continues current provisions of the ACA. This bill would not raise costs. Preventive services, particularly contraceptive coverage, also help lower healthcare costs overall. Representative Sampson also filed an anti-choice parental notification amendment, at which point debate on the bill was tabled.

S.B. 586 was vital legislation for women in Connecticut. Copay-free coverage for contraception faces imminent threats from the Trump administration. This bill had nothing to do with abortion, and it is disheartening to see that in Connecticut one man can decide whether women in our state can access contraceptives.

We already have excellent protections for teens who are seeking abortion care, including mandatory counseling. These laws truly protect vulnerable young people. By contrast, the type of legislation proposed by Representative Sampson places vulnerable teens at risk from physical and emotional abuse, and exacerbates dangers young people may face.

Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut said, "We call on Connecticut legislators to find ways to build support for prioritize birth control coverage for women in our state. It is unconscionable that a single legislator was able to kill this bill. We urge Democrats and Republicans alike to protect contraceptive coverage and other women’s preventive care benefits in our state.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Improved Protections For Pregnant Workers Unanimously Passes The Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2017

On the penultimate day of the General Assembly session of 2017, the Connecticut Senate showed that there is strong support for women’s rights in Connecticut by unanimously passing H.B. 6668, a bill to improve workplace protections for pregnant women. The bill had been passed in the House on May 23.

H.B. 6668, An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace, is a vital part of the economic stability of our state. We must do all we can to ensure continuity of employment for working mothers. Women can least afford to lose their job when pregnant, particularly for need of a short-term accommodation.

H.B. 6668 makes clear the types of accommodations usually required by pregnant women (including assistance with manual labor, more frequent or longer breaks, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or less hazardous work). The bill also protects women from being discriminated against when pregnant, including barring employers from forcing an employee to take an accommodation that she does not require while pregnant. In Connecticut the median annual earnings of mothers are $23,000 below those of fathers. Mothers make just 70 cents on the dollar in comparison to fathers. Nationally, Black mothers are paid just 51 cents on the dollar, and Latina mothers 46 cents on the dollar, for every dollar made by white, non-Hispanic fathers. H.B. 6668 will help reduce these stark disparities.

This bill was part of a package of proactive legislation originally sponsored by Senator Mae Flexer alongside Representatives Robyn Porter, Caroline Simmons, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Liz Linehan, Kelly Luxenberg, and Christine Conley. Senate co-chair of the Labor Committee, Senator Ed Gomes, introduced the bill, and Senator Mae Flexer spoke about the importance of this legislation.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "Each day, women in our state face issues at work due to the need for minor accommodations, or face discrimination in their workplace. This bill will help secure economic security for women in our state through strengthening their ability to work in the way that they need – with or without accommodations – when pregnant. Pregnancy is a time when women can least afford to lose their jobs, and we are delighted to see that our legislature have recognized this and passed this legislation. We urge the Governor to sign this bill into law.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Protection for Contraceptive Coverage and Other Women's Preventive Services Passes The Connecticut Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2017

With just five days left before the end of the 2017 legislative session, the Connecticut Senate unanimously passed S.B. 586, An Act Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents. The bill now passes to the Connecticut House of Representatives.

S.B. 586 protects current ACA provisions for women’s preventive services with no cost sharing. The bill includes coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive and sterilization methods. This legislation will ensure that no matter what happens at the federal level, access to contraceptives and other vital medical care will be available through insurance plans to Connecticut women, regardless of income level.

S.B. 586 was part of a package of proactive legislation originally sponsored by Senator Mae Flexer alongside Representatives Robyn Porter, Caroline Simmons, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Liz Linehan, Kelly Luxenberg, and Christine Conley. Senate co-chairs of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Senators Tim Larson and Kevin Kelly, both spoke in support of the bill, and Senator Kelly introduced an amendment allowing for a brief special enrollment period for uninsured pregnant women.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "With each passing day, there are further attacks on contraceptive coverage from the federal government. We are delighted in Connecticut to see such strong bipartisan recognition of the importance of current ACA-mandated preventive services for women. Reliable access to birth control and the other preventive services covered in this legislation are vital to the economic security of women in Connecticut. In the tough financial times we face here in our state, it is imperative that we enact proactive legislation that supports the economic empowerment of women. We urge the House to take rapid action to advance S.B. 586 through the legislative process.

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Connecticut House Passes Bill Supporting Pregnant Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23, 2017

Today the Connecticut House of Representatives took an important step in advancing legislation to further protect pregnant women in the workplace. H.B. 6668, An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace, is a vital part of the economic stability of our state. We must do all we can to ensure continuity of employment for working mothers. Women can least afford to lose their job when pregnant, particularly for need of a short-term accommodation.

H.B. 6668 makes clear the types of accommodations usually required by pregnant women (including assistance with manual labor, more frequent or longer breaks, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or less hazardous work). The bill also protects women from being discriminated against when pregnant, including barring employers from forcing an employee to take an accommodation that she does not require while pregnant.

In Connecticut the median annual earnings of mothers are $23,000 below those of fathers. Mothers make just 70 cents on the dollar in comparison to fathers. Nationally, Black mothers are paid just 51 cents on the dollar, and Latina mothers 46 cents on the dollar, for every dollar made by white, non-Hispanic fathers. H.B. 6668 will help reduce these stark disparities.

This bill has been championed in the House of Representatives by strong pro-choice Democratic female legislators, most notably chair of the Insurance Committee, Rep. Robyn Porter, and Rep. Liz Linehan, along with their house colleagues Reps. Christine Conley, Kelly Luxenberg, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, and Caroline Simmons, along with Senator Mae. Flexer. The bill also attracted a total of 40 co-sponsors and received bipartisan support with a vote tally of 120 in favor to 30 against (42 Republicans voted in favor).

The debate showed, however, how some Republican representatives spoke about pregnant women as "bad actors,” and seemed to think that the ability of small businesses to discriminate against pregnant women is important for the economy of the state. Women who make complaints about employees already face heavy burdens to find justice, it is incredible that some of our state representatives question their motives.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "This is a vital piece of legislation for working mothers in Connecticut. A core element of reproductive rights is ensuring that women are able to continue their employment throughout their pregnancies, and that they do not face discrimination because of their pregnancy.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Protections Pregnant Women Are Pro-Choice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 9, 2017

On May 9, 2017, the Connecticut House of Representatives took an important step toward further improving reproductive rights in Connecticut by voting in favor of H.B. 6668, a bill to improve workplace protections for pregnant women.

SB 586, a bill protecting current provisions for women’s preventive services with no cost sharing, received strong bipartisan support in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. This piece of legislation will ensure that no matter what happens at the federal level, access to contraceptives and other vital medical care will be available through insurance plans to Connecticut women, no matter their income level. Public testimony on this bill from medical providers was clear on the difference it makes for women that they can choose their contraceptive method based on their needs, rather than on the level of copay they will face.

Connecticut politicians demonstrated bipartisan support of this legislation. SB 586 was unanimously supported by Democrats on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and by all but one Republican committee member.

In the Labor Committee, three other important pieces of legislation were also voted out of committee. SB 1 and HB 6212 both propose a system of paid family leave. HB 6668 would further strengthen workplace accommodations and protection against discrimination for pregnant women. All three pieces of legislation received joint favorable votes from the Labor Committee and will move forward to the Senate and House.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "We are thrilled to see so many proactive pieces of legislation moving forward out of the committee stage. Connecticut is one of the best states in the nation for reproductive rights. These pieces of legislation mean that we will continue the gains we have already made in relation to reproductive healthcare, and will further improve the lives of working families in Connecticut. We look forward to seeing our state take positive steps for women in 2017.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

Connecticut Politicians Advance Reproductive Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2017

On March 9, 2017, the Connecticut General Assembly took the first steps to further reproductive rights in Connecticut by advancing several important bills out of committee.

SB 586, a bill protecting current provisions for women’s preventive services with no cost sharing, received strong bipartisan support in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. This piece of legislation will ensure that no matter what happens at the federal level, access to contraceptives and other vital medical care will be available through insurance plans to Connecticut women, no matter their income level. Public testimony on this bill from medical providers was clear on the difference it makes for women that they can choose their contraceptive method based on their needs, rather than on the level of copay they will face.

Connecticut politicians demonstrated bipartisan support of this legislation. SB 586 was unanimously supported by Democrats on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and by all but one Republican committee member.

In the Labor Committee, three other important pieces of legislation were also voted out of committee. SB 1 and HB 6212 both propose a system of paid family leave. HB 6668 would further strengthen workplace accommodations and protection against discrimination for pregnant women. All three pieces of legislation received joint favorable votes from the Labor Committee and will move forward to the Senate and House.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Sarah Croucher, said, "We are thrilled to see so many proactive pieces of legislation moving forward out of the committee stage. Connecticut is one of the best states in the nation for reproductive rights. These pieces of legislation mean that we will continue the gains we have already made in relation to reproductive healthcare, and will further improve the lives of working families in Connecticut. We look forward to seeing our state take positive steps for women in 2017.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

NARAL Connecticut Statement On Nomination Of Neil Gorsuch To US Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2017

With news reports that President Trump will nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and NARAL Pro-Choice America issued the following statement:

"The Supreme Court exists to defend our basic rights as Americans and must serve as a check on this runaway administration,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "With Judge Gorsuch, the stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to women and our lives. Gorsuch represents an existential threat to legal abortion in the United States and must never wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice. After Trump’s disastrous first week on the job—from his global gag rule to his travel ban on Muslims—we cannot afford to elevate his destructive agenda with a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.”

"Today we saw politicians in Connecticut once again reaffirm their protective stance in relation to reproductive healthcare,” 
said Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. "We are one of seven states to codify Roe in our statutes. Here in Connecticut we are confident that our politicians support our rights, but we fear for those in states where these protections are not as strong. We call on our champions of choice, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, to address Gorsuch’s anti-choice record during the hearing process.”

President Trump has a long history of promising to nominate justices intent on overturning Roe v. Wade. Here is a brief background on what we know about Judge Neil Gorsuch:

  • Current position: judge, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Appointed by anti-choice president George W. Bush; confirmed by voice vote.
  • He has contributed to anti-choice elected officials including Bill Frist, John McCain, and George W. Bush.[1]
  • He clerked for anti-choice Associate Justice Byron White.
  • He also clerked for mixed-choice Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.
  • The conservative Federalist Society lists him as an "expert” on its website.[2]
  • In a case challenging the Utah governor’s executive action defunding Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, Gorsuch wrote an anti-choice dissent, in which he describes the motivation for the governor’s order as based on the activities alleged in videos released in the summer of 2015, and not because of the governor’s anti-choice position.[3]
  • When the Tenth Circuit decided against rehearing en banc a challenge to the ACA’s contraceptive-coverage policy (Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell), Gorsuch joined the dissenting opinion. Dissenters called the contraceptive-coverage policy a clear burden on the plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion and predicted that the policy would "not long survive.”[4]
  • Gorsuch concurred with the Tenth Circuit’s anti-choice ruling in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius. He wrote a concurring opinion that the ACA’s contraceptive-coverage policy required Hobby Lobby "to violate their religious faith by lending an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.” He continues, "the mandate compels Hobby Lobby and Mardel to underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.”
  • He submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the American Hospital Association in a case about assisted suicide. He referenced Planned Parenthood v. Casey and wrote, in reference to public hospitals being required to provide elective abortions, "If the courts feel free to override the conscience of health care providers in that context, there is a danger they will do so here as well.”[5]
  • In a challenge to Oklahoma’s license-plate program, which allows for "Choose Life” license plates that fund anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers, the district court dismissed the case on procedural grounds. Gorsuch ruled that although some of the charges were rightfully dismissed, others could be heard on the merits so he remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings. In his opinion, he wrote: "even if [the plaintiff] were to prevail and obtain the relief sought in its amended complaint, the State would remain free to promote adoption and ensure that none of its monies go to abortion-related activities or any other activities of which it disapproves.”[6]
  • He wrote a novel, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, which argued against legalization of assisted suicide on the principle that human life is intrinsically valuable and that terminating human life is always wrong.[7]

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the state capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.

What’s Next After The Women’s March? A Proactive Legislative Agenda For CT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23, 2017

Hartford, CT  – After hundreds of thousands marched and rallied in support of women’s rights and equality this past Saturday many are asking, "What next?” Here in Connecticut, that next step is passing legislation in 2017 that would continue to protect and expand reproductive rights.

Today members of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut are supporting a progressive legislative agenda announced by seven Democratic women legislators. This announcement comes just one day after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case in which the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to abortion. Despite the long history of protecting reproductive choice in our state, several conservative legislators have sought to curtail these rights by proposing anti-choice legislation, including a bill that would mandate ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. These state-based attacks come alongside those from the federal government, with the removal of protections granted by the Affordable Care Act and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, high on the agenda of the new Trump administration.

In the face of such attacks, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is proud to stand with legislators today to say proudly that we won’t go back! Legislation today spans a broad range of protections, including requiring continued coverage of women’s preventative services and breast pumps with no cost sharing (a provision of the Affordable Care Act), and increasing protections for abortion in line with the Supreme Court Ruling in Whole Woman’s Health last year.

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Executive Director, Sarah Croucher, said, "After being part of a rally of 10,000 at the Capitol on Saturday, I know that Connecticut residents want to see bold proactive policies in support of reproductive rights. We want our politicians to listen to voters, and to continue to work for reproductive justice in our state. Connecticut has a history of bipartisan support for reproductive rights, and we look forward to politicians from all sides of the political spectrum standing up to say that "women’s rights are human rights,” and to trust and support individuals to make whatever personal decisions are right for them.”

# # #

About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc. 
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the state capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.