To the Editor:
While taxes and the state budget are important to the financial ability to raise families in Connecticut, legislators in Hartford have consistently failed to provide that stability. Subsequent revisions as well as the recent departure of General Electric and announcement of Aetna are indicative of legislative leaders failing their responsibilities to our state.
Some legislators prefer to focus on fiscal policy and ignore the social issues. But when abortion is killing an unborn child, I must question the wisdom over the last two years in the state cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to hospitals – resulting in staff cuts and arguably delaying life-saving care - while at the same time providing a $404,763 grant to renovate the abortion clinic and headquarters of Planned Parenthood in New Haven in 2015.
It is the so-called “social issues” that leave lasting marks on our lives.
Women become pregnant all the time. They always remember whether they are supported or not supported during their pregnancy, regardless of whether their child was born, miscarried, or aborted. Our state has an interest in ensuring they have as many options and choices available. Those feelings and memories last much longer than their previous year’s tax burden.
State Sen. Terry Gerratana chairs the Public Health Committee, but is unlikely to allow any discussion of bills aimed to increase information and protect children. One measure would educate 16- and 17-year-old pregnant girls on their options, which is already a requirement for younger girls.
Parental notification proposals ensure girls are not subject to the control of sexual abusers. In 2014, a Coventry fire chief impregnated a 15-year-old fire cadet during a two-year relationship, and payed for her abortion unbeknownst to her parents. It could also have short circuited sex traffickers Adam Gault of West Hartford, who forced another girl into child pornography, when he brought her for an abortion.
In both cases, abortion clinic workers failed to report the incidents to authorities. The failure to do so prolonged the abuse of both girls and raises questions as to whose interest they are working on behalf of. Perhaps requiring a parent or guardian’s signature on a piece of paper to attesting that the child is theirs could give abortion clinic workers more evidence to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities than they do today.
Connecticut is one of only seven states without these proposals. Let’s be clear about these proposals – they aim to keep children safe and informed, and would have little impact on the abortion rate in Connecticut. Do they seem unreasonable to you?
Then again, Democrats in Hartford cannot pass a state budget that lasts more than a few months without gutting hospitals, raising taxes, and forcing jobs out of state, so should we expect them to do any better in protecting children? By refusing public input into these bills, Sen. Gerratana tacitly endorses the status quo where abortion clinics send children back to their abusers.
Please tell Sen. Gerratana to consider public hearings on these simple but important bills to protect the women and children we care about.
Vice President, CT Right to Life