Rep. Hughes holds reproductive justice forum for Westport community

Rep. Anne Hughes encouraged residents to talk about their own experiences with reproductive rights.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Apr 21, 2024, 10:17 PM

Updated 27 days ago


Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Anne Hughes hosted a reproductive rights forum on Sunday at Unitarian Universalist Congregation for Westport residents to share their frustrations with current legislation.
"’Why can't we have nice things?’ That's the theme,”  Hughes said.
She opened the floor to residents to discuss reproductive justice, privacy of bodily autonomy and how to enact change in the community in the age of economic and racial disparity.
"We may not profit from it but we do benefit from a segregated medical system, a segregated economic system, and, most importantly, a segregated power system,” Hughes said. "We have to be an equal partner in setting those policy priorities."
Hughes noted that in order to even the playing field when it comes to reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, more people have to take part in the issue – especially people who benefit from white privilege.
“She elevated the whole thing by telling the white women, the white people in this group, it's their responsibility to not sit back and think about their personal power benefits,” said Sudha Sankar, of Ridgefield.
Out of the few dozen people who attended, many came out with mixed emotions.
“Well, I’m sad that there were five men here,” said Randy Burnaham, of Westport.
Some were appalled at the reality of the situation. Others were hopeful and ready to carry on the fight.
“We may be a blue state but there is a lot of pain and suffering that is going on,” Burnaham said. “I feel good that there were five of us. That’s five more than have been at many of these gatherings.”
“She’s come to Westport, she’s come to white people and she’s taking her message to communities where she realizes the importance of it,” Sankar said.

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