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VP Harris, Rep. Hayes hold abortion rights roundtable discussion at CCSU

Political experts said said that shouldn't overlook the fact the discussion has merit. He said visiting CCSU would help Hayes in the upcoming election.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Vice President Kamala Harris was at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Wednesday to participate in an abortion rights discussion alongside the national president of Planned Parenthood and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.

Ahead of the event, Rep. Hayes said the meeting was not campaign business. However, CCSU Political Science Associate Professor Jerold Duquette said it is a political move by the vice president. He said visiting the New Britain university would help Hayes in the upcoming November election.

"Representative Hayes is the most vulnerable member of...Democrats in the House in Connecticut," he said. "The Hayes race just leans Democrat, which means there is a slight vulnerability there."

Duquette also said that shouldn't overlook the fact the discussion has merit.

RELATED: CCSU political science professor says VP's visit to the school is a political move

The fifth congressional district has had both Republican and Democratic representatives. It was previously held by now Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. Before Murphy took office in 2007, Republican Nancy Johnson represented the district. Duquette says her Republican challenger George Logan is a contender for the seat because he's not considered far-right and Hayes cannot use the nationwide GOP representation with Logan.

Logan has said he supports a woman's right to choose but disagrees with late-term abortions. Logan said this visit by the vice president was a campaign effort to help the incumbent Democrat, even though Hayes denied that. Logan says there are more important issues to voters in the fifth district like the economy.

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"I think it would be more important to have the opportunity of having the vice president of the United States of America here in Connecticut, here in New Britain to talk about those issues that are on most people's minds," Logan said.

Hayes said the economy is recovering and discussing abortion rights is important to her and Harris. The representative said it's to talk about the elimination of women's rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to enact their own laws about abortion services.

Connecticut already had laws protecting a person's right to choose an abortion and increased those protections last spring when a Supreme Court opinion on Roe was leaked.

RELATED: Yes, University of Idaho told staff they could be fired and charged for promoting abortion, contraception

The leak indicated the court's position, overturning the precedent that Roe provided. Within a week after the leak, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a reproductive bill that would protect women coming to Connecticut to seek an abortion and doctors in the state from legal action from other states' laws.

Over a month after the leaked opinion, the Supreme Court made its decision official, announcing at the end of June that the regulation of abortion rights would be left up to the states.


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