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Abortion rights opponents gather at CT state Capitol for March for Life rally

Pro-life protesters gather for the March for Life rally on March 22, 2023, at the Capitol Building in Hartford, CT in hopes to get legislators to change policies for ones that respect the unborn.
Ayannah Brown
/
Connecticut Public
Abortion rights opponents gather for the March for Life rally on March 22, 2023, at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., calling on legislators to change policies on abortion.

Abortion rights opponents gathered outside the state Capitol in Hartford on Wednesday for a March for Life rally.

Advocates said the event is designed to send a message to Connecticut state lawmakers during the legislative session to do more to protect the unborn. Similar marches were held earlier this year in Washington, D.C., and California.

The U.S. Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion last year when it overturned Roe v. Wade. Abortion remains legal in Connecticut; the right to an abortion was codified in state law in 1990.

The rally started at the state Capitol and was followed by an event at Bushnell Park.

Katherine Sarris said she came out to oppose efforts to expand abortion access.

“To pay with taxpayer funding for abortions from outside the state of Connecticut — so we would not only pay for the abortion, but also the lodging and transportation for women — I think that’s ridiculous,” Sarris said.

Sandy Peccerillo of Branford was wearing a “Choose life” T-shirt.

“I decided to come out to uphold the sanctity of life because I don’t believe in pro death,” Peccerillo said. “If people turn their hearts back to God, he’ll turn back to us.”

Several attendees went to church before going to the rally. Some attended vigil Masses Tuesday in Bridgeport and Norwich. On Wednesday, the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford held an early-morning March for Life Mass.

Latin Americans have a strong understanding of family and faith and defend life in all its stages, said Juana Arroyo, a march organizer and a member of St. Augustine Church in Hartford.

“No one has the right to take away the life of a person, especially when there is a baby inside the womb,” Arroyo said. “That’s why Hispanics come together for this cause. Pregnant women, do not commit that crime.”

But those who support abortion rights said people should respect the choices women make. Kamora Herrington, an advocate for LGBTQ+ and women's rights, said people must understand that women can make life decisions.

“We have autonomy, and here in the United States, we are supposed to have a beautiful pluralistic society and a separation of church and state,” Herrington said. “There are many reasons why a woman may choose to have an abortion. We know that the religious part plays an important part in some people.”

Pro-choice protestors counter rally against Pro-life protesters gathered for the March for Life rally on March 22, 2023, at the Capitol Building in Hartford, CT in hopes to get legislators to change policies for ones that respect the unborn.
Ayannah Brown
/
Connecticut Public
Abortion rights supporters rally against abortion rights opponents gathered at the March for Life rally on March 22, 2023, at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn.

Although both advocates have varying opinions about abortion, they agree there is a need to educate women of all ages.

“Women should be responsible for their bodies,” Arroyo said. “If you cannot bring a child into this world, you should prevent having intimacy.”

Herrington said there shouldn’t be any barriers in medical care.

“I think contraceptives should be available for everyone,” Herrington said. “It’s up to the individual to make those choices for their lives, and no one has the right to step into that.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 24 states have banned abortion or are likely to do so, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In 2022, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law a bill to protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states.

“As long as I am governor, reproductive rights will be protected in Connecticut, and I will do everything in my power to block laws from being passed that restrict those rights,” Lamont said last year.

Connecticut Public's Emily Caminiti contributed to this report.

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.
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