Democrats lead Norwalk rally against U.S. Supreme Court opinion condemning 1973 Roe v Wade decision

Common Council member Nora Niedzielski-Eichner speaks Tuesday outside the Norwalk courthouse. (D-At Large) (Harold F. Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. — About 40 people rallied Tuesday outside the Norwalk courthouse in response to news suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn the federal constitutional right to abortion in America.

“What this decision does is kick it back to the states for now, but it leaves open the door for a national law banning abortion. So as of January 2025, there is no guarantee that we are safe even here in Connecticut. So, it is time to mobilize,” said Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, one of several Democrats leading the rally.

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story

On Monday evening, Politico published a leaked  draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, confirmed as genuine Tuesday by Chief Justice John Roberts. It’s “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — that largely maintained the right,” Politico states.

“Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid. Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled,” Politico states. “The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.”

People assemble Tuesday outside the Norwalk courthouse. (Harold F. Cobin)

Mayor Harry Rilling could not attend the rally, Dominique Johnson said. In addition to the locals, several out-of-town Democratic candidates for office spoke.

Josh Goldstein, who like Niedzielski-Eichner is a Democratic At Large Common Council member, said that as an attorney he couldn’t believe it when he read Alito’s words.

“The crassness and cruelty with which they said that that rights that we have been told are settled law, that have been decided by some of the greatest legal minds in the history of this nation, were just wrong,” he said. “No, they’re not wrong.”

He said, “This is a not just about abortion. This is not just about women, it is about all of us and the rights of all of us in our lives, all of us, our families, all of us in our communities, to come together to fight for the rights that we have and deserve and need to preserve.”

“I have seen a lot of finger pointing and blaming on social media today. And I get it. But right now it is time for us to put our differences aside and come together as people who believe in women’s rights and human rights and democracy to stand against fascism and authoritarianism, which is sweeping the world, like a second pandemic,” said Democratic Town Committee District E representative Tina Duryea.

She presented a “fun fact.”

“Did you know that Republicans weren’t always anti-choice? It was actually a conservative Supreme Court that passed Roe v. Wade,” she said. “In the years following it, the Republican Party made a devil’s bargain with religious zealots, that in exchange for their unwavering support, Republicans would eventually repeal Roe v. Wade. And it has taken them decades, but they were in it for the long haul.”

Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade. He was appointed by Republican President Richard Nixon and was considered a conservative constitutionalist until that point, Brittanica states, adding that “it followed from Blackmun’s deeply held belief in a citizen’s right to privacy without governmental interference.”

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee District E representative Tina Duryea speaks Tuesday outside the Norwalk courthouse. (Harold F. Cobin)

“How do we fix this?” Duryea asked. “Well, we need to flip multiple states from red to blue.”

Register to vote, volunteer in a district where it will matter and donate, she said. In addition, “The most effective way to convert broader voters is by talking to your friends and family. It is proven to be the best way to convert voters.”

Commission on the Status of Women Chairwoman Anna Keegan also spoke.

“It’s not enough to be safe in Connecticut, because the majority of Black and brown people do not live in Connecticut,” she said. “They live in those red states that are even now passing abortion legislation.”


Paul May 4, 2022 at 4:58 am

Really bizarre. I witnessed a prominent dem holding a sign “Not your body, not your choice.”
This same dem was seen holding a sign for mandatory vaccinations.

So which is it?

Niz May 4, 2022 at 6:20 am

So it does not take away abortion! Ignorant people! It states in lays terms after 15 weeks is NO
YET STATES can determine differently, CT law is…. Ok so CT IS NOT AFFECTED
New York is!
I am so annoyed by this reaction by politicians. So FAKE and leading the people to rally over something that doesn’t affect our lives. Division is all that’s going in here during an important election cycle. So common that it’s tired!
It’s HOW this got leaked that’s the real issue. And sincere concern should be there.
Supreme Court better follow due process in this.

Chris May 4, 2022 at 9:27 am

Well, Paul,

Don’t you just hate it when a pregnant woman wanders around in a crowd and gets dozens of other people pregnant?

Oh, wait, pregnancy doesn’t work that way. Viruses do.

Is there any educated adult who doesn’t know that?

RUBY VIA WATKINS May 4, 2022 at 11:17 am

Time for women to review and establish their power or they will be back in their house and not the White House.

Ken May 4, 2022 at 11:43 am

The fact is after several decades it’s become obvious that abortion is simply birth control. It’s a woman’s body yes. And when she chooses to have sex and get pregnant the life in her belly belongs to both man and woman. These same people will, rightfully so, go after a man who won’t take responsibility for the child. That responsibility starts before the kid is born.
This is more about parental rights than anything else. If it’s solely a woman’s rights thing then a man’s responsibility ends at ejaculation.
There’s also the reality that these same people trample rights on a regular basis. Rights secured by the constitution. I see noplace in that document that an unborn baby is a political pawn nor the sole property of a woman. The kids right to live outweighs mommy’s desire to not deal with the responsibility for her actions.

Priscilla Feral May 4, 2022 at 12:02 pm

Cheers for the rally yesterday, and protests that follow to oppose the Supreme Court’s leaked draft of Justice Alito’s majority decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established access to abortion as a constitutional right.

Congress has had about 50 years to codify Roe v. Wade so that it’s federal law. Everyone swept away by the party of Trump, pretending that this day wouldn’t arrive has nothing to say worth listening to. But know this, a minority, placed in control of the Supreme Court by a president who lost reelection, and tried to demolish our democracy, intends to torpedo a constitutional right that has been protected for 50 years. Other protections of civil rights will also be under attack.

This is what happens when others take for granted rights that someone else fought for and won.

Take nothing for granted and carry on.

Justataxpayer May 4, 2022 at 12:25 pm

I once saw an abortion performed. It is really very traumatic. I think if others witnessed it, their opinions would be swayed.

Victor Cavallo May 4, 2022 at 1:17 pm

The Supreme Court’s opinion will not be condemning abortion rights. This misleading headline is what I’d expect to see on a CNN or MSNBC chyron, not on NoN!

Mya May 4, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Kudos, Kudos, Kudos to the Rally. And to Nancy for your reporting! The leaked opinion is absolutely condemning abortion rights. I sent as many emails as I could to state and federal representatives. I rec’d some very encouraging responses regarding CT upholding women’s rights. You are absolutely right, Priscilla. I have been equally complacent. This is the first time I have ever reached out to any public representative. This is a clear message that nothing can be taken for granted in light of polarizing extremism.

wendie grossman May 5, 2022 at 12:31 pm

I stopped supporting abortion rights when the liberals celebrated second and third trimester abortion- even up to labor and delivery. Killing a fetus that could otherwise survive with medical assistance sounds a like infanticide. Lighting up the Empire State Building was the final straw of disgust and disbelief. How can one celebrate the destruction of a life that could easily live with neonatal support. As my twins did, born at 33 weeks and grew up to graduate Dartmouth with high honors and Weslyan.
I support a woman’s right to choose until 12 or 16 weeks- or in the case of rape and incest, if it is reported to authorties within 30 days, or to save the life of a mother.
Abortion is not an alternative for birth control. If people were not so disgusted by the free for all- no questions asked- anytime you want it- and let’s call it “Maternal Health”, maybe this country wouldn’t be so divided on the issue.
If we had free and easy access to birth control, if we had an education program that started in Junior High School, maybe we could responsibly and ethically live with early abortion policy that gives a woman choice without blinding one’s eye to the evil of late term abortion.

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