U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) urged Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to safeguard abortion rights for patients nationwide. He held a rally with abortion rights advocates on Monday at the state Capitol before taking off for Washington D.C. to vote on the bill with Senate Democrats later this week.
Janée Woods Weber, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, said she’s angered by a Supreme Court draft opinion that seeks to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
“I’m going to take that anger, take that outrage and channel it into the work,” Weber said. “There’s a lot of work to do, and I’m ready for it.”
She said she believes a patient’s right to an abortion should have been a settled law years ago.
The Women’s Health Protection Act is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday. The measure passed the House by a 218-211 margin, but was blocked in the Senate 46 to 48 the last time it came up for a vote.
Blumenthal also wants to codify the landmark Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion because he is worried about how a leaked Supreme Court draft could put Connecticut’s abortion law in jeopardy. The draft opinion would not ban abortions, but allow individual states to restrict or prohibit the procedure.
The renewed fight for abortion rights has exposed cracks in availability of abortions in Connecticut. The waitlist for an abortion in the state is about two weeks — and growing. Lawmakers approved a new law that expands who can perform the procedure to fill a potential shortage in providers.
In addition, Blumenthal wants men in Connecticut to step up the fight for reproductive rights.
“Someone you love has had an abortion or needed one or sought one,” he said, “and you need to be there to support reproductive rights.”
“For generations, abortion care has been considered a mostly women rights issue,” echoed Claudine Constant, the public policy and advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. “It’s a human rights issue because it takes two to tangle and it’s not just a woman that gets pregnant alone.”