Hundreds of people are gathering in our south to defend the right to abortion and attack Texas law
When it opened, the colorful ambience of the Women’s March in Salisbury, Connecticut belied the seriousness of the subject at hand. Photo: Terry Cowgill
SALISBURY, Conn. – To the chants of “Our Bodies, Our Choice,” about 250 activists, including some from Berkshire County, came out onto the city green in front of the White Hart Inn to demonstrate their unwavering support for reproductive rights.
The event was one of more than 600 women’s marches held nationwide on Saturday. This year’s marches got an added sense of urgency after the passage of a Texas law known as SB 8 that bans abortions after six weeks of gestation and empowers citizens to sue women and anyone who helps them obtain an abortion. Civil charges for those found responsible for performing abortions after the ban goes into effect include an individual fine of $ 10,000.
See the Edge video below from the Salisbury, Connecticut Women’s March on October 2, 2021:
“You are part of a powerful movement,” said organizer Debra Frank. “Today women and men are protesting against Texas Law SB 8 at over 600 venues in all states and are letting go[ting] Politicians know we don’t sit back and watch our constitutional rights be destroyed. We are in danger and we have to make our voices heard. “
A committee led by Frank organized the Salisbury March. Frank is a Florida attorney and is a board member of Planned Parenthood. She and her husband Barry have owned a house in Salisbury for 20 years, she said after the event.
There have been numerous references to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to have an abortion before the third trimester of pregnancy. Ironically, the case challenged the constitutionality of the then very restrictive abortion laws in Texas.
Rev. Heidi Truax of Trinity Episcopal Church in the Lime Rock section of Salisbury said that church teachings do not prohibit abortion, adding, “We have freedom and we are responsible for our own bodies. That’s what God thinks is important. “
State Representative Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, a former federal attorney and clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Southern Borough of New York, said she guessed many people were wondering why New Englanders should be interested in a law passed in Texas.
“It is the utter insidiousness of this particular law,” said Horn. “This law means that we will turn you against each other. This is grotesque and was done with the express intention of circumventing the obvious unconstitutionality of this law. “
Horn called the Texas law a vehicle for “vigilante justice” and noted that there was significant burnout after the 2020 presidential election, “and everyone needed a little break”.
“Well, the break is over,” said Horn.
Horn pointed out, however, that Connecticut lawmakers had protection in Roe v. Wade codified into constitutional law in 1990. Hence, experts say that even if Roe v. Wade would be repealed at the federal level, state law would remain intact and enforceable in Connecticut. Massachusetts lawmakers on Beacon Hill passed a similar bill in late 2020, known as the Roe Act, which suspended Governor Charlie Baker’s veto.
Salisbury-based Susan Galluzzo relied on the memory of the late Canaan lawyer Catherine G. Roraback. Roraback served as the lead attorney in the landmark 1965 Griswold v Connecticut case. On behalf of Planned Parenthood and a Yale obstetrician, Roraback successfully challenged a state law that bans the sale and use of contraception.
“She was a calm, calm, and passionate woman with a razor-sharp legal mind,” said Galluzzo. “Catherine took her case and argued it to the Connecticut Supreme Court, then the US Supreme Court.”
Larry Rand, a retired history teacher at Kent School, condemned Texas law, suggesting that things will only change “when we have as many women in Congress and state parliaments as men”. Rand also questioned the method by which the Supreme Court handled Texas law.
“The law replaces the rule of law and state liability with a system of vigilante justice and a $ 10,000 bounty for anyone who files and wins,” said Rand, who has studied constitutional law in depth. “The Supreme Court should have issued an injunction to suspend enforcement of the law until the case could be heard. Instead, it issued a 5-4 decision from the so-called “shadow protocol,” which enabled the law to pass without oral arguments. “
Frank noted that abortion is not an abstraction: “Someone you love has had an abortion. Fifty-nine percent of women who want an abortion are married and have children. “
In closing, Frank also warned that even if the Supreme Court eventually repeals Texas law, “the second shot to repeal” [Roe] comes in December when the court hears the Mississippi case. “
The Supreme Court approved an appeal against the Mississippi law on December 1st. The Gestational Age Act, passed in 2018 but blocked by two subordinate federal courts, allows abortions after 15 weeks “only in medical emergencies or in the case of severe fetal diseases”. Anomaly ”and does not include an exception for rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions outside the legal parameters will have their medical license suspended or revoked, and additional penalties and fines may be imposed, ”CNN reported.