Murphy Rallies Women’s Health Troops

Allison Park Photo“Democracy is on the ballot” this November, and advocates for women’s health need to make their voices heard.

Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy delivered that message Friday afternoon in a discussion with local women’s rights activists at mActivity Fitness Center on Nicoll Street.

He and others argued that women’s health hangs in the balance of the current confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as well as in the general election. At stake: The erosion or dismantling of Roe v. Wade and Obamacare.

As the weeks close leading up to the midterm elections, Murphy said the “best thing we can do” is to help people “understand the stakes” and convince friends who voted in the 2016 presidential election to show up to the midterm election as well. New Haven State Rep. Robyn Porter suggested that “disgruntled [Trump] voters” should also be targeted for the election this November.

“Democracy is actually on the ballot,” said Murphy, who is running for reelection this year and is regularly mentioned a potential future Democratic presidential contender.

There will be “some real practical consequences” in the midterm elections, Murphy said. He declared that he has faith that “voices are getting louder.”

Murphy and NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut Executive Director Sarah Croucher opened up the floor to the 18 Connecticut-based women’s health advocates and health care providers in attendance.

Murphy emphasized the importance of calling senators. “Washington is an ecosystem,” he said, “everybody hears what’s going on in everybody else’s office.”

In a shared office space with a front desk “within audible distance of” Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s front desk, Murphy said, he saw firsthand that during the repeal Affordable Care Act, the “volume level [of incoming phone calls] was just so big” that “they just couldn’t avoid it any longer.”

NARAL’s Croucher called allowing women to purchase contraception without co-pays through the Affordable Care Act “a game changer.” She cited than the level of unintended pregnancies “dramatically decline[d]” because of the lowered financial barriers in accessing contraception. Croucher said that this policy change supporting women’s reproductive health allowed them to “better plan their lives” and have more “economic security.”

State Rep. Porter made the point that a black women disproportionately face hardships when it comes to general and reproductive health. She noted that “243 percent more black women than white women are dying.”

She spoke of how fake women’s health clinics —  covert pro-life organizations that encourage women against legal abortion —  “prey on women of color and immigrants.”

“We can talk the truth to combat the rhetoric” and “bring humanity back into this argument,” Porter said.

Among the younger women in attendance was Yale Law School student Kayla Morin. She connected Murphy’s words to her work at the Yale Law School Reproductive Rights and Justice Project. Morin said the clinic is a “mix of policy and litigation” that allows for “direct client work” and a “hands-on experience.”

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posted by: LivingInNewHaven on September 9, 2018  11:15am

https://www.propublica.org/article/nothing-protects-black-women-from-dying-in-pregnancy-and-childbirth

Women of color are treated so poorly as it stands when it comes to reproductive care, and have been for centuries.  Maybe since this decision will also affect white women, black women will benefit also.

posted by: 1644 on September 9, 2018  12:16pm

She noted that “243 percent more black women than white women are dying.”

As written, this statement is obviously false.  All of us, regardless of race, location, or socio-economic status have exactly the same chance of dying: 100%.  It’s just a matter of when and how.

posted by: Ben Howell on September 10, 2018  9:56am

1644, I’m not sure what Ms. Porter is referring to with her “243% statistic” but Black women have higher maternal mortality (dying in child birth) and on average die at a younger age. Yes, we all die, but differences across ethnic/racial groups of dying at younger ages and due to preventable causes reflects a societal failure.

posted by: OhHum on September 10, 2018  10:57am

“Democracy is on the ballot” Chris Murphy couldn’t be anymore correct. The move to Democratic Socialism will end Democracy in the U.S.A. as we know it. With Democratic Socialism there will be two classes of people. The ruling class (the rich) and the ruled (the poor). When you go to vote in November choose which class you believe you will be in. And listen to Nancy Pelosi when she says that when she is house leader again, those tax cuts you enjoy now will be gone. She’ll keep Obamacare and it’s upward spiral to non-sustainability. Remember those who rule do so because they have the masses that want to be ruled.

posted by: 1644 on September 10, 2018  12:27pm

Ben:  Yes, I suspect the fault lies with NHI, not Ms. Porter, for placing the quote out of any context.  I have noticed to young(ish) ages of those blacks memorialized in NHI’s obituaries.
    I do take issue with Porter’s representation of pro-life clinics.  These clinics are not fake.  They offer real services to women.  What they are not is comprehensive.  While Sanger, Planned Parenthood and I believe planning and limiting children is critical to women’s social and financial empowerment,  the pro-life group finds abortion reprehensible, and the idea that finances should control reproduction repulsive, classist, and racist.  When NHI and others ran a story on a woman with 21 children who couldn’t pay her rent,  and I and others criticized her family planning (or lack thereof), Rev. Ross-Lee criticized me for my “middle-class sensibilities”.  As for preying on immigrants, most immigrants today come from Latin America, where attitudes, and laws, are much more “pro-life” than here.

posted by: 1644 on September 10, 2018  4:07pm

From CTMirror:  “... black women are 243 percent more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications ... . ” 

https://ctmirror.org/2018/09/09/outreach-bridging-racial-gap-pregnancy-related-health-outcomes/

(Notably, the profiled woman has six children.  Another had four, the first at age 16.)

My own demographic, middle-aged white men,  is, again accepting repsonsibity for fixing the problem and being pro-active in closing the mortality gap.  We have a nearly 50% increase in suicide.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suicide-rates-increase-dramatically-among-middle-aged-americans/

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 10, 2018  5:35pm

Among the younger women in attendance was Yale Law School student Kayla Morin. She connected Murphy’s words to her work at the Yale Law School Reproductive Rights and Justice Project. Morin said the clinic is a “mix of policy and litigation” that allows for “direct client work” and a “hands-on experience.”

Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.   

Huey Long

posted by: LookOut on September 10, 2018  10:08pm

Murphy’s ideas are frightening;    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/heres-an-idea-lets-ban-sen-chris-murphys-tweets