WEST HARTFORD – Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont joined state and local officials at West Hartford’s town green Saturday for a rally on reproductive rights.
Despite a recent Quinnpiac University poll finding that only 12% of Democrats believe abortion is the most urgent issue facing the state, the Democratic Party believes it’s a winning issue for them in what Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz called “Roevember.”
She painted her Republican opponents as against a woman’s right to choose.
“On the other side, our opponent whose initials are aptly B.S. was extremely quiet. He refused to be interviewed on camera or even pick up the phone to talk to reporters on his position on the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” Bysiewicz said.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski said the Democratic rhetoric “is desperation calling.”
He said in a statement that “Because Ned can’t even lie his way out of the financial mess he has made out of our state he is resorting to lying – again – about my stance on a woman’s right to choose. I stand for my daughters and all women when I say that I will uphold their codified constitutional rights. I also stand for the men, women, families, seniors and businesses in Connecticut when I pledge to take immediate and sweeping action to improve the affordability, safety and accountability of this state. THAT is a statement that Ned Lamont cannot and will not make.”
The Democratic ticket said they’ve done more than just stand up for a woman’s right to choose.
“It’s not just that our team has stood up and passed the safe harbor law to protect all women in America that need critical health care, it’s that we passed a $15 an hour minimum wage to uplift women and families in our state,” Bysiewicz said.
Lamont said he likes elections that are about a bold choice.
“You can tell the difference between Susan and me and B.S. and the other lieutenant governor on the other side are like night and day,” Lamont said.
He said Stefanowski had a choice “three months ago you could have maxed out to the one candidate for senator on the Republican side who was pro-choice or you could max out to the two candidates who are against a woman’s right to choose.”
Lamont is referring to Themis Klarides who lost the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and Leora Levy, who won and is on the ballot in November.
“Actions speak louder than words Bob,” Lamont said. “You maxed out to people who want to outlaw a woman’s right to choose.”
Levy opposes abortion exception in cases of incest and rape or when the pregnant mother’s life is in danger. She has been less than clear about her position regarding U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 15-week abortion ban.
The rally drew a small group of protesters, one of whom was waving a flag and holding a sign and another who was dressed in Revolutionary War attire with a drum.
“There’s a great irony that’s happening here right now,” Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, said. “There’s a guy dressed up in colonial garb in the back playing his drums. There’s woman standing down here shouting with the American flag.”
He said those are symbols of the freedom of speech that Democrats were demonstrating on Saturday.
“This woman is draping herself in a flag for everything she is here to oppose,” Scanlon, who is also running for state comptroller, said.
He went onto say that “abortion is health care and health care is a human right.”