Public Health Committee Gets An Earful from Pro-Lifers and Disability Activists
Perhaps pro-abortion activists kept saying they “strongly” support restrictions on pro-life advertising because the case for their bill was so weak.
That was our takeaway from Tuesday’s marathon 13-hour public hearing on bills attacking pregnancy centers and legalizing assisted suicide.
By the end of the night even Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport), the main proponent of both bills, was openly confessing that he was less certain of the bill restricting pregnancy center advertising because the definition of “deceptive” advertising was so vague. In fact, there is hardly any definition at all. As pro-abortion activists repeatedly demonstrated throughout the hearing, they consider any pro-life advertising by definition to be deceptive, even words as basic as “Pregnant? Need Help?”
The broadness of pro-abortion animosity toward the free speech rights of pro-lifers troubled even the liberal members of the Committee, as well it should. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on exactly that issue the very same day that Connecticut’s pro-abortion movement was, in essence, telling our state government that pro-lifers don’t have free speech rights. FIC submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in that case and we will have more on it in a future email alert.
But the bottom line is that Tuesday was not a good day for Connecticut’s pro-death lobbies.
Pro-lifers wildly outnumbered them at the Legislative Office Building, even at the pro-abortionists’ own press conference.
When the Committee broke its own rules and allowed NARAL’s organizer to address them early without the presence of her legislator, it only backfired on them. Rep. Jason Perillo (R-Shelton) exposed their real agenda, saying that the law was simply targeting people with a different viewpoint. The room erupted in applause.
Likewise, Sen. Heather Somers (R-Groton) called NARAL’s claims of pro-life perfidy what they are: hearsay. Over and over again, NARAL activists read into the record second-hand accounts of negative experiences supposedly had at pregnancy centers, oftentimes admitting that the unnamed writers of these experiences were undercover operatives of NARAL and saying they would only name the centers “off the record.” The committee was not impressed.
Nevertheless, sheer inertia may be enough for the Committee to advance the anti-pregnancy center bill, even after NARAL’s embarrassingly poor performance at the public hearing. We need your help to stop it–and to stop the assisted suicide bill.
The Committee could vote to advance these bills as early as tomorrow (Friday), at the their 11 am meeting. They must vote these bills out of Committee by their “JF deadline,” March 28th, or the bills “die in committee.”
We will have more on the assisted suicide portion of the public hearing–and the great testimony against both bills–in a future email. We will also have videos and photos of that incredible day.
For now, we want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who were physically present for so many hours on Tuesday, and to everyone who submitted written testimony and emailed your legislators. As usual and despite it all, there are more of us than them. Let’s make it count!