Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

June 27, 2018

Flexer & Health Care Advocates Blast SCOTUS Decision to Side with Anti-Choice Women’s Health Centers

State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson), state legislators, Hartford city officials and women’s health care advocates from across Connecticut today gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to denounce Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a California law requiring anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to more fully disclose what they are—organizations that attempt to look like legitimate family planning clinics, while actually providing medically inaccurate, anti-choice information.

“Every woman should have the right to make her own medical decisions and choose what she wants to do with her body. But these co-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ take that choice away by disguising themselves as legitimate clinics, providing false information and shaming their patients seeking to end a pregnancy,” Sen. Flexer said. “This decision makes it clear now that every branch of the federal government is prepared to roll back women’s rights. In Connecticut we must be vigilant in protecting these rights because our state government is the last line of defense to empower women and protect their access to health care.”

Sen. Flexer was joined by women’s health care advocates from across the state including NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, The National Organization for Women (CT NOW), Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

“Yesterday five male justices tried to say that it’s okay for fake women’s health centers to lie to women. These aren’t the values of Connecticut,” said Sarah Croucher, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. “The critical fact remains that individuals in our city and across the state are being deceived when they seek out medical care. We remain committed to ensuring that women who are pregnant or think they might be have access to comprehensive, medically accurate health care options, without deception or shame. I hope that all of our pro-choice majority in the legislature will stand with us so that we can end the lies.”

“No one should be deceived or misled as they seek critical health care services,” said CWEALF Executive Director Kate Farrar. “But, the decision yesterday by the Supreme Court will limit women’s access to comprehensive, honest and transparent health care in our own backyards.”

“The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women denounces the NIFLA v Becerra decision and is disgusted that the Supreme Court would allow these ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ to continue to manipulate women through their practice of providing false information, which undermines the right of every woman who walks through their doors to make an informed decision on whether she wants to terminate her pregnancy, or carry it to term,” Kate Hamilton Moser, Vice-President of CT NOW, said. “There is no place for extreme religious ideology in health care. Medical decisions need to be based on access to complete and unbiased information, coupled with the patient’s own personal beliefs and desires. Connecticut NOW is committed to protecting Connecticut women and girls against deceptive health care practices, as well as to ensuring that they never lose their reproductive freedom.”

“Since 1978 Hartford GYN Center has served the Hartford community by providing abortion care by licensed physicians and practitioners, as well as well-woman visits and the full range of reproductive health care services, always based on accurate, trustworthy medical information,” said Roxanne Sutocky, Director of Community Engagement at Hartford GYN Center. “We have witnessed firsthand the dangers that CPCs pose by deceiving patients and delaying their access to time-sensitive medical care in their efforts to convince them not to have an abortion. We are proud to continue our work as a part of Connecticut’s health care community and we welcome the public, our elected officials, and the press for a scheduled visit to see firsthand what legitimate, comprehensive reproductive health care provision looks like.”

This year, Connecticut Democrats introduced several bills establishing protections for women’s health in Connecticut to defend against the ongoing attempts at the federal level to roll back women’s access to necessary health services. Democrats led final passage of a bill ensuring that insurance policies offered in Connecticut must cover the “10 Essential Health Benefits” protected in the federal Affordable Care Act, including outpatient care, trips to the emergency room, prenatal care and ongoing care for the baby throughout its childhood, prescription medicine, lab tests, mental health services and substance use disorder services.

Also included in the 2018 Democratic Values Agenda was a bill that would have shed light on fake “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” that target urban neighborhoods and other medically underserved communities where people do not have access to a regular gynecologist. Democrats introduced legislation to ensure that people seeking health care advice about a pregnancy are not lied to or shamed by staff at “crisis pregnancy centers” seeking to further a political agenda. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass.