NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Hundreds gathered Wednesday afternoon to listen in on the reproductive rights conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU.)
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-Connecticut) and Alexis McGill Johnson, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, joined Harris to discuss various topics on the matter, all three women sharing their input.
"It is critical that we take action to enshrine women's reproductive rights into law and protect the health and well-being of all women and all people," said Hayes.
The conversation is what officials believe is an essential but timely dialogue.
"We're looking at, I think, a dozen states at least that have essentially banned abortions," stressed Harris. "And what is that going to mean? There's still a lot of confusion."
They focused on topics from the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade to access essential care here in the United States.
"It's not just about access to abortions, right," said McGill Johnson. "There's contraception; they're literally trying to hold people hostage in their states with these right to travel bands."
The Black Maternal Health Crisis was also touched on, which is something Harris said she's very proud of. She said, for the first time, have elevated the issue of Black maternal health to the state of the white house. However, Harris said there's still much-needed work.
"Black women are three times more likely to die, native women's twice as likely, women in rural in America One and a half times," said Harris. "When it comes to racial bias in the healthcare delivery system, we know that is a huge contributor particular to black mortality, is the out black mortality."
While talk of change is underway, Gov. Ned Lamont noted Connecticut has federal support for reproductive rights. Harris called the Nutmeg state a role model, praising the state legislature for taking action after Roe V. Wade was overturned.
"Connecticut said look if someone is being denied their rights in Texas, or Arkansas or someplace else, you can come to Connecticut and exercise your full reproductive rights," said Gov. Lamont.
Harris said while there was a movement on reproductive rights generations ago, now that movement has to pick back up and continue.
"It is incumbent on us as the leaders of this moment to pick up that movement and to do what is necessary to reaffirm, regain and fight for those rights and so that's where we are," said Harris.
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