HARTFORD – Bridgeport Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Joe Ganim today said the state of Connecticut should do everything possible to preserve women’s access to reproductive health care, including amending the State Constitution to guarantee women the right to choose. With the appointment of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the recently retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, there is a real threat that a majority to uphold the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade guaranteeing a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy could be in jeopardy. A state constitutional amendment in Connecticut would guarantee reproductive rights and freedom of choice for all women in Connecticut. Ganim also called on the state to do everything possible to preserve access and funding to women’s reproductive health care, especially for vulnerable populations in urban areas.
“Reproductive rights are under siege all over this country, and we in Connecticut cannot let a narrow minded administration in Washington, D.C. threaten nearly 50 years of progress and legal precedent that women have the right to choose what happens inside their own bodies,” said Mayor Ganim. “A Ganim administration will draw a line in the sand and fight for all women. We need to fight federal gag orders on women’s health clinics, and fight for the necessary funding so that vulnerable populations of women such as those in low income families in our urban areas – the people I fight for every day – have access to medical clinics and full reproductive health services. Even though we have strong statutes preserving reproductive rights, laws can change and we should be prepared to put that language into our state constitution so these rights can never be under threat in our state. It is scary that we even have to propose such a thing, but these are the times we are living in.”
Nine states have passed similar constitutional amendments including Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico, while the Maryland legislature is considering such a step. Meanwhile, Alabama and Mississippi voters will be facing ballot initiatives this fall affirming that those states’ constitutions do not guarantee a right to terminate a pregnancy. A constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot for voters to ratify in Connecticut if it receives the support of at least 75% of legislators in both houses of the General Assembly in one year, or a bare majority in two successive years.