Vice President Kamala Harris leaves after CT Central State visit

NEW BRITAIN – Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Central Connecticut State University today to meet with U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes and President and CEO of Planned Parenthood.

The visit is timed to give Hayes, a second-term congresswoman representing Connecticut’s 5th District, a boost ahead of November’s midterms. It will also shed light on reproductive rights — a key issue for Democrats who hope to maintain tight control of both houses of Congress this fall.

Access to abortion and reproductive health care became a central part of the party’s message following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in June overturning Roe v. Wade, overturning decades of court precedents that guaranteed the right to abortion at the federal level. Since the decision was overturned by a majority of the court’s conservative members, more than a dozen states banned abortions.

Harris plans to hold a “conversation” with Hayes and Alexis McGill, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on the campus of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

New Britain Police outside Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

Governor Ned Lamont plans to offer welcoming remarks before the conversation, which is scheduled to begin at noon at the university’s Torp Theater.

The vice president last visited Connecticut in May, when she delivered the commencement speech at the US Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremony ceremony.

Live updates

2:45 p.m. – The motorcade drove off to cheers and boos from a mix of curious students, anti-abortion protesters and supporters of Hayes and his challenger, George Logan, a former state senator.

1 p.m. – The Republican National Committee released a statement through a spokesperson in response to Harris’ visit.

Central Connecticut State University students Tatiana Rosario, left, of East Hartford, and Braheem Wahid, of Meriden, await the arrival of Vice President Kamala Harris for her visit to the school in New Britain, Connecticut, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

Central Connecticut State University students Tatiana Rosario, left, of East Hartford, and Braheem Wahid, of Meriden, await the arrival of Vice President Kamala Harris for her visit to the school in New Britain, Connecticut, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

“Despite their best efforts, Kamala Harris and Jahana Hayes will not be able to distract voters from the Democrats’ failed agenda, marked by skyrocketing costs from groceries to home heating bills. Biden, Harris and Hayes have no solution to the economic hardship their policies have inflicted on families in Connecticut,” the statement said.

12:28 – Although Harris’ visit focuses on access to reproductive health care, the state is unlikely to see a ban or restrictions on abortion access, with Democrats controlling both houses of the legislature. of the state and the governor’s office in Hartford. The state passed legislation in the early 1990s that codified the Roe decision into law – at the time lawmakers feared the decision would be overturned, although the court ended up being reaffirming Roe in a 1992 decision. The June Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could open the door for the federal government to enact a nationwide ban on abortion procedures. US Senator Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, introduced a bill last month that would ban people from get an abortion after 15 weeks.

12:17 – Hayes’ Twitter account highlights the congresswoman’s voting record on reproductive rights on Wednesday around the time she arrived in Connecticut. “Extreme bans have consequences that go beyond abortion, including women being denied access to necessary prescriptions and contraception at pharmacies and college campuses,” the congresswoman tweeted. Hayes, whose district includes a swath of Republican-leaning rural towns that opted for Trump in 2020, is seen as the most vulnerable member of Connecticut’s delegation.

Police block an entrance to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, ahead of the arrival of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Police block an entrance to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, ahead of the arrival of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Jesse Leavenworth/Hearst Connecticut Media

11:43 am – The vice-presidential motorcade has arrived at Central Connecticut State University.

11:39 – Harris landed in Connecticut to a rainy reception, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office.

10:54 a.m. – New Britain Police have not planned any road closures following Harris’ visit, but will have ‘temporary closures’ for the arrival and departure of the vice presidential motorcade, a spokesman said from the city.

10:46 – New Britain Mayor Stewart arrived to welcome Harris to the city. Although she supports Hayes’ opponent, Stewart said the city has a long history of hosting presidents and vice presidents. Stewart has described herself as a pro pick

An anti-abortion protester identifying only as Cherie stands before Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

An anti-abortion protester identifying only as Cherie stands before Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

10:17 a.m. – Max Lucas, a CCSU sophomore studying communications, stood in the rain outside Davidson Hall as he waited for the Vice President’s motorcade to arrive. Lucas said his parents were split on Harris, but “whoever it is, I’m just glad to see a vice president.”

9:50 a.m. – Dozens of New Britain police and Secret Service agents were posted in a wide perimeter around Davidson Hall, with barriers and yellow tape blocking the entrance. At around 9:30 a.m., a lone anti-abortion protester had put up a banner on the sidewalk facing busy Stanley Street. Cherie, who would not give her last name, said she particularly protests Connecticut government leaders urging women in the state to come here for their abortions.

9:40 a.m. – A woman, who declined to give her full name, erected a sign outside the entrance stylized as a Connecticut license plate protesting against abortion.

9:28 a.m. – Prior to the vice president’s visit, police erected barricades and sealed off a driveway leading to the university.

Writer Jesse Leavenworth contributed reporting for this story.

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