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. While we wait for legislative action on S.B. 835 and our pro-choice legislative agenda, let’s catch up on some news in Connecticut and across the country.

Allies Join Call to End Anti- Choice CPC’s Use of Deceptive Advertising Practices 

On Wednesday, April 7th NPPCT & our cross-movement allies called for action on S.B. 835 AAC Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers. Together, we reminded lawmakers why #WeDeserveTruth and demonstrated wide-reaching support for S.B. 835. We loved seeing everyone’s posts and are incredibly grateful for the support from our members, allies and legislative champions.

CT Bishops Express Concerns Over Anti-Choice CPCs’ Advertising Practices 

From a February 2021 article titled “CT Bishops At Odds With Local Crisis Pregnancy Centers” – “A Connecticut crisis pregnancy center (CPC) that confronts women before they enter abortion [centers] has been told it’s “too confrontational” to be part of a coalition of CPCS that receive funds from the Diocese of Norwich and its parishes.” It references CPCs such as Pathways Pregnancy Center, whose founders are the same individuals that operated the Hartford Women’s Center, a CPC known for their deliberate, invasive and judgemental tactics to intercept and deceive patients attempting to access legitimate time-sensitive reproductive healthcare. The Bishops expressed a desire for CPCs to communicate “up front that the center does not perform abortions,” which demonstrates how even allies of the anti-choice movement admit concerns over deceptive and dishonest tactics utilized by CPCs.

It is abundantly clear that S.B. 835 is a clear and necessary solution. It is important to remember that while S.B. 835 will not infringe upon the first amendment rights of anti-choice CPCs and would not impede their day-to-day operations or their advocacy efforts- this bill would ensure that truth and honesty is upheld and maintained as the standard of practice across the state. Learn more by checking out our Instagram post here and our Facebook post here.

S.B. 1 and Health Equity Week

The Connecticut Examiner published an article on March 27th outlining why S.B. 1 An Act Equalizing Comprehensive Access to Mental, Behavioral and Physical Health Care in Response to the Pandemic is absolutely necessary- especially in the fight to increase access to doula care and address the ongoing maternal mortality crisis. “Multiple other doulas testified in favor of the bill, as did NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, whose state director Liz Gustafson said that accessing “culturally appropriate care due to systemic and structural inequalities” is a key part of reproductive freedom.” 

This week also marks Health Equity Week, and Health Equity Solutions held events throughout the week for the public to learn more & get involved. According to HES, Health Equity Week was created to raise awareness and facilitate important conversations about advancing health equity throughout the state of Connecticut and across the country. This year, they covered the importance of Race, Ethnicity, & Language (REL) data, vaccine distribution inequality, HUSKY Health Programs, and more!

Mark your calendars, because next week is Black Maternal Health Week– an annual event founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BBMA)! You can find out more about what the week entails and ways to get involved on their website or Facebook.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

This month marks the 20th annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As the movement to decease rates of sexual assault has historically been led by Black women and folks of color, it is imperative that we center and amplify voices continuously silenced by systems of oppression, racism and white supremacy. Sexual assault and reproductive freedom are inherently linked, and in the fight for bodily autonomy we must support survivors, believe survirors, and implement trauma-informed language and care into our policies and procedures. Check out End Rape on Campus, a group that specifically aims to uplift student experiences.

Anti-Trans Legislation in Arkansas

This week, Arkansas passed a bill outlawing physicians from providing any gender affirming procedures, including treatments such as hormone blockers and surgery, to transgender youth. These restrictions exclude some intersex indivduals and individuals who experienced complications with prior treatments. HB 1570, also known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, was introduced on February 25th by Republican State Representative Robin Lundstrum. It was passed and sent to the Governor’s office for approval on March 30th. Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson (who just recently approved an extremist abortion ban) found the SAFE Act “extreme and an incident of governmental overreach” and thus vetoed it on Monday, April 5th. The following day, their legislature overrode Governor Hutchinson’s veto, marking the third anti-trans bill passed in the state.

Groups such as the ACLU are already preparing to take action against the bill. In the fight for reproductive freedom, we must show up for trans people, especially trans youth, whose freedoms are constantly and increasingly under threat by conservative extremists.

The Supreme Court Takes on Abortion 

The Supreme Court, with a new 6-3 conservative majority has agreed to hear its first case on abortion, Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Former Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a ban on the common and safe surgical technique dilation and evacuation (D&E). After lower courts blocked the ban, current Democratic Governor Andy Beshear refused to defend it, so Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more about this fight here.

Thank you for reading this week’s Repro Rundown! As always, here are some more ways for you to take action this week:

Do: Email or Tweet Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes to thank them for signing on as original co-sponsors to the EACH Act!

Learn: Listen to the podcast episode by Abortion,with Love: Exposing Fake Abortion Clinics: Undercover with openDemocrac‪y

Donate: To an organization supporting and advocating for survivors, such the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

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