The Connecticut Coalition for Choice commemorated the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Thursday with a news conference at the Connecticut Legislative Office Building. In attendance to express support of the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States were a number of state Constitutional Officers, elected officials, leaders from pro-choice organizations and supporters. Speakers focused on what’s at stake for women in national health care reform and on the current attacks to reproductive rights.
Each year, the CT Coalition for Choice celebrates the important anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution protects the right of a woman to choose whether to continue a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion. “Today, this landmark victory for women is under attack,” said Jillian Gilchrest of NARAL-Pro-choice Connecticut. “While so vital to all of us, health care reform could actually threaten woman’s right to legal abortion by limiting access to insurance coverage for abortion care.”
Both the House and Senate versions of the federal health care reform bill include anti-abortion measures introduced by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). If included in the final health care reform bill, these restrictions will make it nearly impossible for millions of women to purchase private health insurance that covers abortion and would effectively result in a ban on abortion coverage in health care reform, and the biggest erosion of access to abortion in forty years.
“Reproductive rights should not be used as a bargaining chip for gaining votes on health care reform,” said Coalition Co-chair Gretchen Raffa. “Women must not lose benefits they have today as a consequence of health care reform. Pro-choice organizations are doing everything they can to partner with supportive members of Congress to undo these amendments and protect existing health care services for women.”