HARTFORD, Connecticut – Pro-life Connecticut activists gathered Wednesday in Hartford at the Capitol building for the second annual March for Life to celebrate life from conception to natural death and to demonstrate against more abortions that could come if two proposals are approved.
Despite the fact that Connecticut already has extremely liberal abortion laws, House Joint Resolution No. 8, introduced by State Rep. Keith Denning (D-Wilton), is a proposal for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion. The resolution would enshrine abortion in the state Constitution.
A second bill, Raised H.B. 6618 – an “abortion tourism” measure – would require Connecticut taxpayers to cover the expenses, including travel and lodging, of women wanting to come into the state for abortions from states that have banned the procedure in the wake of Roe’s reversal.
“We’re here to promote the culture of life and stop the culture of death in our state government, and people here from all faiths are united in that approach,” Christopher Healy, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, told The Connecticut Star during an interview before the rally.
“And it’s to get people motivated to make the calls to ask our legislators to roll back the abortion agenda, to stop assisted suicide, and to show love and compassion – charity rather than expeditious moral relativism,” Healy said, adding, “but it’s mostly just to talk about how we, as Christians and as Catholics, need to stand tall here, need to fight for what we believe in, and do it by our constitutionally given right – not only to practice our religion, but to express ourselves and that’s why we’re here.”
“There are a couple of bills that people should be aware of that they should oppose,” Healy noted, adding;
One would allow state tax dollars to be used to pay for abortions for out-of-state residents. That’s just abortion tourism. It’s an abomination because the money comes from insurance that’s used to help poor people. So, we’re taking away from the poor and the most vulnerable to end the life of innocent children. And, also, assisted suicide, which we need to stop as well, which would basically allow the contagion of suicide to be morally and legally accepted. We can’t do that. We need to stop people from taking their lives and help them start living their lives until the next one.
As Healy referenced, SB 1076 is being considered in the Connecticut General Assembly, a measure to legalize assisted suicide in the state.
In addition to Healy, speakers at the rally included Peter Wolfgang, president of Family Institute of Connecticut, and pro-life pregnancy care center directors and advocates.
Young people from every level of education prominently held their school banners.
Marcelina Halas, vice president of the Newman Club and president of Turning Point USA’s club at Central Connecticut State University, spoke to the crowd about how conservative and pro-life college students often feel they have to self-censor their views.
“Self-censorship is silence in the face of evil or complicity,” she observed. “Moreover, it is the worst form of censorship because it is self-enforced. By fostering an environment hostile to speech, colleges get students to do the work for them.”
After four years of undergraduate student study, some students are fortunate enough to leave these indoctrination camps that is their college campuses with their critical thinking abilities intact and not yet replaced by groupthink. The biggest irony preached to college students, especially young women, today is that abortion is liberating. College “women’s centers” connect their female students who find themselves in precarious situations, such as being faced with unplanned pregnancies, to “reproductive health services,” a euphemism for abortion clinics. Colleges offering courses in the arena of women, gender, and sexuality, pride themselves in their DEI initiatives, but students walking out of these courses can’t even define what a woman is.
“What is the function of education, if not, as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, ‘to teach one to think intensively and to think critically?’” Halas asked, observing that King went on to say “that intelligence plus character is the goal of a true education.”
“The critical component here is character,” she continued. “It is not enough that in our hearts we know the truth that life begins at conception and, therefore, any attempt to interfere with or destroy this existing life is murder. No, we are called to champion the truth and to do so boldly.”
Families with young children and babies in strollers participated in the rally and the march, carrying preprinted signs that said, “Choose Life” and “Love Them Both,” as well as original signs.
Alex Forzano (pictured here) attended the march with his mother, bearing his own hand-crafted sign.
“I heard about this on the radio and I thought it’d be a great opportunity to learn about the conservative movement and the pro-life movement,” Alex told The Connecticut Star. “And I wanted to support something I really believed in.”
Alex said he was glad to see “such a big crowd.”
“Honestly, I really didn’t know how many people would be here,” he added. “I just thought of Connecticut as a very pro-choice, very liberal area. But, I mean, this is from all over Connecticut. People are really supporting what they believe in. I think this is really amazing.”
Catholic priests and other Christian pastors from around the state participated in the March for Life.
Rev. Mark Masnicki, pastor of Guardian Angels Parish, with churches in Colchester and Lebanon, told The Connecticut Star the second March for Life was “another beautiful experience in Hartford.”
“We are very grateful for what just happened last year in the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, and, now, we are here to express our hope that Connecticut will preserve the lives of the unborn,” Masnicki said. “Thousands of people are here just to express our support for children and for women, the other victims of abortion, as well as moms and dads. And, so, we will be here again next year.”
A handful of abortion rights supporters stood on the edge of the march as thousands walked by singing and praying. One anti-life activist held a sign that read, “There is no YOU in uterus,” while another individual’s sign read, “My body my choice.”
Numerous seminarians – young men on the path to becoming priests – participated in the rally and march.
Two religious seminarians, Brothers Santiago, originally from Mexico, and Christian Patterson, from Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada, told The Connecticut Star the March for Life is a “very important cause for us.”
“Basically, we give our lives to save souls, right?” Brother Santiago said. “And these are souls. That’s what people don’t understand – it’s a life. So, we want to give testimony to the importance of the beauty of it as well.”
“I think the reason I’m here today is just because I love life,” Brother Christian added. “And I want every person to have the chance to experience life and the beauty that is this world – I stand for that.
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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]