You have a quarter mile left to go and just two minutes until your appointment. You’re in a rush because you had to leave work early and you’re a little nervous. Unsure of where the office is located you’re relieved to see the number so you pull in, park, and start walking quickly toward the medical building. That’s when you notice them, a group of people holding signs seemingly standing in the way of the entrance.
In recent years, the anti-abortion movement has passed more than 400 state laws that shame, pressure, and punish women who have decided to have an abortion – despite the fact that three-quarters of voters support access to abortion. But the anti-abortion movement has also pursued a lower-profile, more insidious strategy of setting up shop in our neighborhoods, opening nearly 2,500 “fake clinics” that pose as women’s medical facilities, but instead of providing legitimate medical services, use lies, pressure, and deceit to prevent women from getting an abortion.
Connecticut House Bill No. 5416 proposes to prohibit deceptive advertising practices of “limited services pregnancy centers” which it defines as pregnancy services centers that “do not provide referrals to clients for abortions or emergency contraception.” The bill has generated both strong support and opposition from the medical and religious communities. Below are excerpts from a sampling of public testimony from people and organizations that oppose or support the legislation.
As a physician who cares for Connecticut women’s reproductive health needs, I urge the Connecticut State General Assembly to pass the HB 5210, an Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits and Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents. This bill would require private insurance plans available in Connecticut to cover specific preventative services, including contraception, for women without added cost to policy-holders. Women should have access to preventative care regardless of action in Washington, D.C. and we in Connecticut can and must protect this essential care for the women of our state.
“It’s a blessing to have them in my life” said Jennifer Gambo, of Middletown, to a reporter outside of a pregnancy center targeted by Democrats this session. She and many thousands of women were helped by Connecticut pregnancy resource centers last year with counseling, pregnancy testing, education, ultrasounds, donations, encouragement and compassion for free. It was not only free to the women who sought their help, but free to the state of Connecticut, which offers no financial support to the 27 centers throughout our state that offer care to all women.
It is truly amazing that medical records are considered less important than are phone records to be protected by the 4th amendment.
With H.B. 5290 and S.B. 16, Connecticut continues to override patient privacy rights in order to get data to determine Connecticut’s health care policies.
Connecticut is not a bad place to be on Medicaid, but it’s about to become a lot worse. As an internal medicine primary care resident, I care for many patients insured through Medicaid, a program which allows my patients’ chronic diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression) to be managed according to the most up-to-date evidence available. I screen my patients for colon cancer and cervical cancer. I counsel them to avoid tobacco, drink alcohol in moderation, and comfort them in difficult times. I have a lot to do to help my patients maintain their health.
Like any other adult person in Connecticut who was born in Hartford, I can go to Room 103 at City Hall, pay a fee, and get a certified copy of my birth certificate. I’ve done that. I have it. There’s only one problem with that government-issued document – it’s not true. One could even go so far as to call it “fake news.” I was, indeed born, at the date, time, and location listed on my birth certificate. However, my mom didn’t give birth to me; I wasn’t conceived when my dad’s sperm met my mom’s egg.
State lawmakers are gearing up to promote a bear hunt in Connecticut, which would be the first in the state since 1840. The legislation for the hunt is being spearheaded by Environment Committee Co-Chair State Sen. Craig Miner who is seeking approval for a bear hunt in his own backyard – Litchfield County.
Stoked by exaggerated bear sightings, supporters are manipulating the public by marketing fear, so hunters, who represent just one percent of the state’s population, can rally support for what really amounts to nothing more than a trophy hunt to slaughter bears for mounts and rugs.
Connecticut must address its low-wage job boom. One key way to do that is by passing a Fair Workweek bill to limit on-call scheduling.
Almost half of all jobs created since the start of the economic recovery have been in low- wage industries, such as retail and fast food service, which pay less and lack the benefits, predictability, and flexibility of jobs past. This makes our families less economically secure, puts a greater strain on state budgets, and makes workers less able to contribute to our economy.
The bill [to rescue the Medicare Savings Program] before the General Assembly on Monday is a far cry from fiscal responsibility. Despite a growing deficit, and a projected deficit for fiscal year 2019, based on the plan expected to be put before the legislature, the General Assembly appears content to avoid making tough decisions about how to deal with the $224 million deficit gorilla in the Capitol and instead has decided to just keep feeding it.
Republicans in Congress are about to pass the Trump tax bill, which hammers Connecticut. Our state is already getting cheated by the federal government, sending over $2,700 per resident to Washington more than we receive back. The Trump tax bill adds another $800 net loss per resident, money sent to D.C. which we never see again. We are in a hole; stop digging.