Women’s health and pro-choice advocates worry about the effects a Donald Trump presidency will have on their work, but they are vowing to fight to protect women’s rights.
“We are alarmed about the election of anti-choice Donald Trump as president and Mike Pence as vice president,” NARAL Pro-choice Connecticut said in a statement. Pence has overseen “a range of anti-choice measures” as Indiana’s governor, and Trump has said he plans to make abortions illegal and to “punish” women who get them, the group added.
“Such actions and rhetoric endanger the freedom of women across America to make decisions about their own bodies,” the group said.
Closer to home, NARAL also is concerned about the election of seven state senators in Connecticut who were endorsed by anti-choice, or pro-life, organizations.
“We are particularly worried by the strong anti-women rhetoric of state Sen. Len Suzio, R-Meriden, and the danger he presents to Connecticut women in trying to remove their rights to abortion and birth control,” the statement said.
Suzio defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Dante Bartolomeo to earn his Senate seat. Suzio previously served as a state Senator, after being elected in a special election in 2011, but had been narrowly defeated by Bartolomeo in the two most recent races.
Officials at Planned Parenthood released a statement in light of the election results, saying they will continue their work even amid opposition. The organization provides health services to men and women, but the majority of its clients are women, and family planning services — including abortions and birth control — are among its offerings.
Planned Parenthood’s statement did not name Trump or Pence specifically, but resolved to continue the organization’s mission.
Judy Tabar, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, released a statement that mirrored one released by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years and one thing is clear: we will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the health care they need,” the statement said. “All people, including immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more, are entitled to and deserve high-quality health care without barriers. Health care should not be political.”
Planned Parenthood staff will continue to serve patients, regardless of their background, the statement said.
“They will do so today, they will do so tomorrow, and they will do so every day as they have for 100 years,” it said.
NARAL also pointed to some optimism amid the election results, particularly in Connecticut. The group noted that 25 of the 49 candidates it endorsed for state House of Representatives races won. Also, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, both endorsed by NARAL, were re-elected.
“Despite the gains made by anti-choice politicians, we are confident that the state Senate and House will continue to fight for a woman’s right to choose to make choices about her own body,” the group said, adding it will continue to fight for “progressive policy and legislation” regarding women’s reproductive health.