Welcome back to NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut’s Repro Rundown, our digital newsletter that provides you with critical updates about the fight for reproductive freedom. These past few weeks have been busy, and we are excited to update you on our work and provide numerous opportunities for you to get involved!
A Busy Legislative Session
On Monday, February 22nd, the Public Health Committee voted S.B. 835 AAC Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers out of committee with 20 yeas and 13 nays. The bill will now head to the Senate! Email or call your State Senator and ask them for their support on S.B. 835. Find your legislator here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/
Additionally, we provided testimony on three bills that had public hearings this week:
- S.B. 910 AAC Expanding Medicaid Coverage for Post-Partum Care To Twelve Months After Medicaid Beneficiary Gives Birth to a Child,
- H.B. 6472 AAC Telehealth,
- H.B. 6473 AAC The Diaper Bank To Include Feminine Hygiene Products.
Health Equity Solutions on Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis
Last week, Health Equity Solutions held a two-day workshop entitled “Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis”. On Monday, February 8th, Kat Morris and Tia Taylor Williams explained why this declaration is necessary and urgent. They first broke down the various levels of racism and illustrated the numerous ways racism manifests within society and policy. They defined a public health crisis as any phenomenon that affects a large number of people, threatens health over the long term, and requires the adoption of large-scale solutions. Racism undoubtedly fits this description. While progress has been made in Connecticut (20 municipalities have made this declaration, there is still much to be done. On Tuesday, February 9th, Kat Morris led a panel discussion with local leaders on grassroots advocacy and next steps, encouraging participants to engage in conversations with their representatives on this topic.
Senator Saud Anwar introduced S.B. 55 An Act Designating Racism as a Public Health Crisis in the State and Establishing a Commission to Study the Impact of Institutional Racism on Public Health. The bill currently resides in committee, but you can click here to keep track of its progress.
Understanding the impact racism continues to have on access to healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, allows us to expand our perspectives and better understand the obstacles faced by members of our communities. Reproductive freedom will not be achieved until we address systemic barriers, and we are committed to following the leadership of our cross-movement allies to fight for equity for everyone in our state.
Equitable Access to Doula Care in Connecticut
As members of the Doula Coalition, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is looking forward to the Public Health Committee to raise legislation that will formally provide a definition for Doulas. This is a crucial step our state must take in order to ensure equitable access to services in the future, and will aid in addressing the rising maternal mortality crisis. For more information on the Doula Coalition & to stay up to date on legislative developments, make sure to follow the coalition on Facebook!
NARAL Pro-Choice America Event Tomorrow (Saturday)
On Saturday, February 27th at 3pm NARAL will host “Expand Abortion Access: End Hyde,” featuring All* Above All Director of Political Strategies Morgan Hopkins and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), to discuss how abortion coverage bans disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and people of color; and urge attendees to call for an end to racist and discriminatory coverage bans, help combat anti-choice disinformation, and act to ensure reproductive freedom is included in the pursuit of equity and economic security. RSVP today! We hope to see you there.
More Ways to Take Action:
Do: Take action & contact your State Senators to request their support on The Crown Act (H.B 6376), which was voted out of the House earlier this week!
Donate: To organizations seeking restitution for Asian Americans who were subject to horrendous violence as a result of COVID-19 – the Asian Law Caucus, Stop AAPI Hate, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.