UPDATED: Candidates, Elected Officials in Greenwich Share Thoughts on Supreme Court Reversal on Roe

This post was originally published on June 24. It has been refeatured June 25, with updates to include a statement from the Greenwich DTC, quote from Leora Levy, statement from Michael Goldstein, statement from Senator Richard Blumenthal and statement from Congressman Jim Himes.

On Friday, elected officials and candidates in Greenwich reacted to the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health overturning Roe v. Wade.

Bans Off Our Bodies rally outside Stamford Superior Court. May 15, 2022 Photo: Leslie Yager

Rachel Khanna, candidate for State Rep 149th district

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the unimaginable decision to overturn Roe v Wade.  Now, a woman’s right to make healthcare and reproductive choices for herself depends on the state she lives in.  In Connecticut, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom has been protected by state law since 1990. The recent passage of H.B.5414 furthers those protections by safeguarding CT abortion providers and residents from the overreaching and extreme anti-abortion laws in other states, and offers a safe harbor to women in need.  

As the mother of four young women I am incensed by the SCOTUS ruling. As a former escort at Planned Parenthood in Stamford, I am reminded of the anguish of the women whose very private and personal decision were met by a gauntlet of angry protesters trying to prohibit them from exercising their right, an experience no one should be subjected to. And as a woman who has been a lifelong advocate of choice, I am beyond furious that decades of precedent have been upended by this most conservative of courts.

This is devastating.  A woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices should be absolute and protected no matter where she lives. I will fight to protect it here in Connecticut. And I join millions of others across the country in calling for Congress to act now to restore every woman’s right to an abortion by codifying it into federal law.

If you are as angry as I am, then join us Sunday, June 26 for a Day of Action at noon at the amphitheater at Cos Cob Park in Greenwich.”

Kimberly Fiorello, Republican State Rep 149th district

“Today’s Supreme Court decision rightly returns the regulation of abortion to the states. As a public servant, I believe abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

But the facts are that Connecticut’s extreme abortion laws hurt women, especially young and minority women.  We have no parental notification requirement for any minor, unlike Massachusetts and Rhode Island have.  We also target faith-based health centers threatening to take away the emotional and spiritual support women and girls need at such a time.  

In CT’s recent abortion bill, we codified allowing non-doctors to perform these surgeries even though it absolutely increases risks to women.  We even removed the word “woman” from state statutes.  During the debate on the floor, I listened to my minority Democrat colleagues speak about the real and true roots of racism and eugenics in abortion history.  Many of them voted No on this bill, as did I.

Let’s recognize that the majority of Americans wrestle with abortion’s grave moral complexities, at the same time many do not want government interference in personal medical decisions.  

We should strive to reduce the need for abortions by also focusing on resources for prevention.  This is not a political issue, when we are talking about reducing the number of trips a woman or girl takes for serious medical and surgical procedures.  We need to stop treating those whose views differ from our own with disdain and hate, and instead work together to safeguard health for all women and girls in Connecticut. “

Steve Meskers Democratic State Rep 150 district

“This week we have witnessed the most outlandish and foolish rulings by our Supreme Court. This group of bizarre ideologues has taken it upon themselves to support the gun lobby and promote the circulation of all types of deadly weapons in our cities. They also voted to deny women their right to reproductive freedom.

Freshly off the slaughter of children in Uvalde and a Senate finally showing some marginal backbone to the NRA our Supreme Court has sent me a clear message which is that the lives of our kids don’t really matter and that the women in our country don’t deserve the right to make reproductive decisions for themselves,” he continued. “The testimony they gave on settled law as they were interviewed for the job of Supreme Court Justice has proven to the worst kind of shameful chicanery.”

Ed Lopez, Republican candidate for State Rep 150th district

“The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t change anything in Connecticut. We all share a concern for reducing any need for abortions and a commitment to improving access to contraception. Families are enduring economic hardships: voters are talking to me about taxes, jobs, and inflation… about the challenges they face in Connecticut in these spaces.”

Ryan Fazio, Republican State Senator 36th district

“In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, it should be noted that abortion remains legal under Connecticut state law as it has been explicitly for over three decades. This statute and policy will remain in effect after the Supreme Court’s decision. My colleagues in the legislature and I are not going to change that, and both candidates for governor have said the same. At the beginning of the last session, I also introduced legislation expanding access to contraception. The majority did not advance my bill, but I hope they will next term. I will always work with colleagues across the aisle to improve health care, safety, and make it easier to raise a family in our state.”

Trevor Crow, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 36th district

“Like many women across the country, I’m grief-stricken by today’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. For the first time in our history, the court has taken away a fundamental, constitutional right.
At its heart, this decision is cruel. It eviscerates the women’s’ rights and leaves takes away the right to freely make the most important decision in a person’s life: the decision be a parent. Taking away the right to abortion denies us our right to determine our lives and our futures.

Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy against her will is a human rights violation. But the anti-abortion legislators who have put power over people don’t care. These politicians who would deny us our right to access abortion care aren’t reflecting the will of the people, just the will of their narrow, extremist base. They have no business being in power, and they have no business inserting themselves between a woman and her doctor, her family, and her God during a deeply personal decision.

If, like me, you’re angry, it’s time to stand up. Vote, demonstrate, contact voters, volunteer on a campaign, —anything to get involved. In November, we can let’s elect Democrats who will fight against this assault on our rights.”

Peter Sherr, Republican candidate for State Rep 151st district

“Abortion is legal in Connecticut and the SCOTUS decision will not change our laws. These are difficult decisions of health and conscience.  In Hartford, we should be working to make abortion safer and hopefully more rare.  We can oppose infanticide, improve access to contraception, and assure only medical doctors perform these procedures.”

Hector Arzeno, Democratic candidate for State Rep 151st district

“The U.S. Supreme Court has issue its decision, expected since a leak last month, to overturn Roe v Wade, which enshrined a woman’s right to an abortion in federal law.

This ruling will deeply impact healthcare for women around the country and ultimately for a woman’s freedom itself, as reproductive choice becomes dependent on the state where she lives.
Connecticut H.B. 5414, approved by our state legislature in April, furthers protections here that were enacted in 1990, by safeguarding Connecticut abortion providers and residents from overreaching and extreme anti-abortion laws in other states. Moreover, it offers a safe harbor to women in need. But this is not something that can’t ever change. None of Greenwich’s elected Republican representatives, Arora, Fiorello, or Fazio voted for these protections.

In 2020, I was the only candidate for the 151st district who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL. As a lifelong advocate for reproductive freedom, I will be seeking these endorsements again, confirming my commitment to preserve and expand a woman’s right to dignity and ownership of decisions around her body, her medical care and her reproductive health.

As the highest court in our land has marched toward extremism, it has abandoned a half century of precedents, which are upending the lives of Americans across the country. Ominously, Justice Thomas, in a concurring opinion, indicated this decision should prompt a review of other freedoms we have come to appreciate, such as the right to contraception.”

The Greenwich RTC referred to their Tweet

Greenwich DTC

“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has made the states the battleground for the war regarding women’s reproductive rights.  Connecticut currently provides strong protection for these rights, but that is not etched in stone – any more than Roe turned out to be. 

The only way to ensure the preservation of those rights is to vote only for candidates who unequivocally support them.  What happened to Roe shows the folly of accepting statements like “the protection of those rights is settled law.” 

Like Supreme Court Justices, elected state officials can change settled law, and in November people should vote only for those who guarantee that they won’t do so when it comes to reproductive rights.”

First Selectman Fred Camillo

“The  people of the State of Connecticut will not see a change in policy. Period.Whatever your position is on this subject, and we all have one, the Connecticut legislature already passed legislation that put in place measures that will ensure the statute remains the same even after the Dobbs decision.”

Republican Selectwoman Lauren Rabin

“This Supreme Court decision will cause more issues than it could ever solve, leaving legislation up to each state, jeopardizing women’s health. Hopefully we can successfully work with other states to safely protect women’s rights, regardless of one’s personal position or beliefs.”

Democratic Selectwoman Janet Stone McGuigan

“News that SCOTUS has overturned Roe v. Wade is just gut-wrenching.  That our justices could say that this is a legislative matter defies logic.  Roe v. Wade protected our fundamental right to privacy.  Today, our right to choice and reproductive health has been denied.  What will be denied tomorrow?”

Republican Candidate for US Senate for CT, Leora Levy

“Children represent the promise of America’s future. Today that future is much brighter with the decision to protect their right to birth.” 

Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, US Senator for CT

Michael Goldstein, Republican Candidate for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District

This morning (June 25) I read the entire opinion Dobbs et. Al v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey. In contrast to all the hype and hyperbole and soundbites, what the Court essentially said is that it was beyond their scope of power to make a decision on the abortion issue. The Supreme Court determined in Dobbs that abortion is not a Constitutional right either under law nor by history and is not protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Instead, the Supreme Court determined that it was up to the people through their legislators to decide the abortion issue.

This decision respects the 10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

What this ruling and the 10 th Amendment means is that the voters in every state can decide to pass their own abortion laws through their own state legislators. In Connecticut, whether or not you agree with the state’s current abortion law, it is up to the Connecticut legislators and governor to decide. Dobbs has no impact on Connecticut’s abortion laws. As a voter, if you are not happy with the law then you should go to the polls this November and elect legislators and governors that share you viewpoint. I think we need to look at the science and medicine today that did not exist at the time of Roe v. Wade. Regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice there comes a time when a fetus is so developed and has taken on human form that it is cruel and inhumane to painfully abort it. This should be the next step in sane abortion policy. As a physician I am also bound by the Hippocratic Oath which is first to do no harm and that must be taken into account.

We also have to remember, there is also freedom to travel which is not restricted. For those who want abortions in states where there are none, such citizens are free to travel to another state to obtain an abortion.

If you believe in democracy then you should believe that legislators make the law and judges interpret the law. That is what this is decision and our government is all about.

This ruling will not affect Connecticut residents unless you change it at the polls.

Jim Himes, Democratic Congressman for Connecticut’s 4th District 

See also:

Bans Off Our Bodies Rally: Saying You Support Connecticut Law is Not Enough