Statement from the Connecticut Coalition for Choice:
Today marks the 48th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion. While we celebrate Connecticut’s long history of bipartisan support to protect and expand reproductive freedom, it is imperative to recognize that the legal right alone has never been enough.
Although abortion has been legal for nearly five decades, systemic oppression continues to keep essential sexual and reproductive health care inaccessible and out of reach for too many—especially people with low incomes; Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people and all people of color; members of the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; and many more.
Even now, the right to abortion is at risk. Trump’s Supreme Court appointments altered the makeup of Court for the next generation by creating a majority hostile to reproductive freedom and abortion rights. Right now, there are 19 cases about abortion only one step away from the Supreme Court — meaning Roe could be overturned or gutted, eliminating what little access is left.
These challenges make our work to protect and expand our fundamental rights all the more critical. Everyone deserves to decide if, when, and how they start or grow their family, and we envision a world where we are all able to receive care without facing stigma, political interference or barriers.
Liz Gustafson, state director, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut:
“The 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes at a pivotal moment in the fight for reproductive freedom, and the stakes could not be higher. Although Connecticut codified the provisions of Roe v. Wade in 1990, legality has never meant access, especially when our current healthcare system is a product of centuries of racism and white supremacy. Rather than just sustaining existing abortion rights, it is time to demand more.
“We must work together to foster a world where everyone has the power, resources and support to care for our own bodies, our families and our communities. Abortion is essential healthcare, and NARAL Pro-Choice CT is committed to fighting on behalf of bold and creative solutions alongside our legislative champions and cross-movement allies. Connecticut does not only have an opportunity to protect and expand reproductive freedom — but has the responsibility to go beyond Roe.”
Gretchen Raffa, senior director, public policy, advocacy and organizing, Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut:
“As we mark the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade we must acknowledge the legal right to abortion isn’t enough — we need to expand access so that reproductive freedom is a reality for every person, no matter where they live, their racial and ethnic identities, or how much money they have. Without access to care, the constitutional right to abortion is meaningless. Together, we must commit to fight systemic racism, white supremacy, economic inequity, misogyny, and any barrier that makes essential sexual and reproductive health care — including abortion — impossible to access.
“The time is now — with the new Biden-Harris administration, a new Congress, and allies and community organizations leading the fight across the country — to undo years of harm by passing policies that build a new future in which we all have full control over our health, our bodies, and our lives.”
Kelly McConney Moore, interim senior policy counsel, ACLU Connecticut:
“Our country turned a corner earlier this week, but the white supremacy, misogyny, bigotry, and xenophobia that have marked the past four years will not go away unless every elected official, at every level of government, works to end them. On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we know that legal rights in this country do not always translate into real reproductive healthcare access for all. As reproductive freedom remains under threat nationwide, Connecticut must push forward for all people to be able to make reproductive decisions about their own lives. It is imperative that President Biden, Vice President Harris, Congress, and Connecticut’s legislature take bold, visionary steps to make reproductive health care — including abortion — accessible to all, regardless of their income or ZIP code.”
The fight to expand access to abortion isn’t over. It is the responsibility of every single public official—from the Biden-Harris administration to Congress, state legislatures, and public health departments—to ensure every person can access the care they need and deserve. Here in Connecticut, and alongside our allies and partners across the country, we will honor the legacy of Roe by demanding reproductive freedom for all.
Members of the CT Coalition for Choice include:
ACLU of Connecticut, AAUW, American College of Nurse-Midwives Connecticut Affiliate (ACNM-CT), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) CT Chapter, CT Conference of United Church of Christ, CT NOW, CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Connecticut Public Health Association (CPHA), CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), Hartford GYN Center, League of Women Voters of CT, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) CT Chapter, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice of CT.