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New Haven protesters: 'All women should have the same rights'

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Davis Dunavin
WSHU Public Radio
Organizer Rosalba Montoya, with Unidad Latina en Accion, leads chants outside the U.S. District Courthouse in New Haven, Connecticut.

Abortion rights activists in Connecticut said they’re distressed by leaks that suggest the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Hundreds of people, mostly women, lined the courthouse steps Tuesday for a protest outside the U.S. District Courthouse in New Haven. Many held handmade signs as Rosalba Montoya led them in chants. Montoya is an organizer with Unida Latina en Accion. Nayeli Garcia translated for her.

“We are really frustrated that this is happening,” she said. “And we are not going to let this happen. And, like, it’s so angry for us that we do not have the decision of our bodies. We are in the streets and we are going to take them.”

Pamela Ellman is an attorney for the Connecticut Women’s Education Legal Fund — and a volunteer escort who helps women access New Haven’s Planned Parenthood clinic.

“We do that because there are abortion protesters there,” she said, “harassing the patients when they come in, yelling at them, calling them murderers.”

Ellman said that shows abortion access isn’t just a problem for more conservative states that would be likely to ban the procedure if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

“Just because we live in a blue state and our rights are protected in the Connecticut constitution?” she said. “Women in other parts of the country don’t have the same rights that we do. That’s unbelievable. This is the United States. All women should have the same rights. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you live in. So a woman in Texas doesn’t have the same rights to control her body as a woman in Connecticut? That’s not right.”

Connecticut’s General Assembly passed legislation earlier this week to expand access to abortion procedures. The bill would also protect doctors and patients from being sued by other states. Governor Ned Lamont said he will sign it.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.