Rep. Themis Klarides spoke at the Stop the Bans rally in bipartisan support of women's reproductive freedom. I was going to write her a thank you note. Then I read this piece from Tina Manus on Facebook and I hesitated. Does this give you pause, too?
Open letter to Nancy Wyman, Chair of the CT Democratic Party:
I always wondered why those buttons mattered so much to my mother and her generation. They always seemed so cliche. Why wear what you believe on your lapel, when you know it in your heart? It’s no one’s business, right?
Well, now I know. Without buttons advertising to find like-minds in this world, wire hangers replace them—and kill women.
At this point in my life, I am living what I read about only in textbooks and on microfilm as a young girl—faded Polaroids and disintegrating newspapers, capturing the fury of women. It always seemed so curious. I never felt that fury—until now.
I am asking you, Nancy Wyman, to speak out against the CT-GOP’s assault against women yesterday at the reproductive rights’ rally in Hartford.
On Tuesday morning, Minority Leader Klarides, Rep. Devlin, and Rep. Kupchick (who is also running for first selectman in Fairfield) stood prominently on the steps of the Capitol with elected Democrats (!) to decry the heinous abortion bans being signed into law across the nation—laws passed and signed by members of THEIR OWN Republican Party. Rep. Klarides’ own comments did not acknowledge her party’s role in this or denounce her colleagues’ actions—actions praised across the nation by the GOP, even by Republicans who vote for HER. Are we surprised?
While some might try to justify these actions with comments like “Well, they are a different kind of Republican” or “This is not Alabama!” I beg to differ. All three of these women voted with their colleagues AGAINST a bill that would protect women against being victimized by fake pregnancy clinics. https://www.cga.ct.gov/…/h/p…/2019HV-00140-R00HB07070-HV.pdf. Knowing the bill would pass and they were outnumbered, Rep. Klarides raised an amendment to include “Planned Parenthood” as a “fake pregnancy clinic!” Luckily, due the hard work of PROGRESSIVE WOMEN this election cycle, this amendment was defeated by our majority, and the bill passed.
How could these women possibly be welcomed days later to support women’s reproductive rights? (Are we really that desperate, Nance? Seriously?!)
At this time, with Roe v. Wade under attack, we cannot choose to compromise. We MUST not waiver. Women around the country are looking to CT Democrats for leadership and support. I know—because they tell me so. In the words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We live in a global society. They are counting on us.
Elected women of the GOP are a threat to democracy. They are supporters of the patriarchy, with some using their sexuality and femininity as an instrument to manipulate and gain power to oppress other women—especially black and brown women—everywhere. They do what many of their male colleagues cannot in certain areas—persuade women to vote for them. In this way, elected GOP women become the willing malevolent instruments of the chauvinistic GOP.
CT Dems must not be co-conspirators in the further oppression of women in service to some antiquated notion of civility. Times have changed. The images of rage are no longer faded. They are vibrant—and my button collection is growing daily—just ask anyone at the Capitol who has seen it lately! United, we keep the wire hangers at bay and support all women’s rights—not just to choose—but to LIFE.
Ironically, these bans will exterminate women THROUGH CHOICE—desperate choices women have made—and WILL make again. History makes that clear. It is also clear that the GOP ultimately intends to kill women—women like me—who refuse to be ruled by our uteruses. They will watch us die without remorse and declare a clean conscience in the same way they throw toddlers in cages at our borders.
I’ll remind you, the Alabama abortion ban was signed by a Republican woman, not much older than Rep. Klarides who spoke, and those other CT GOP women who stood on the Capitol steps on Tuesday. I assure you, their button collections are all the same—from Alabama to Alaska to Connecticut, too. Trust me.
Nancy, I urge you to denounce this calculated and feigned attempt at bi-partisanship on the cusp of the next municipal election season. I ask that you hold those women accountable for their votes against women—as my state party’s chairWOMAN!
Tell them, simply:
“Deeds not words.” —Emmeline Pankhurst.
Tina Manus, a woman (and a Democrat) with the power to choose—for now.