Intentional Misdirection

Despite having served as state representative for close to 14 years, I’m disappointed that Democrats continually look to create hysteria through false narratives in order to distract citizens of our state from key issues.

Democrats have had total domination in the legislature for 40-plus years and near total domination in the governor’s office in that same time. Given that control – as leaders – one would think they would focus on bringing people together to solve issues instead of dividing us.

So why – several weeks ago – did our attorney general along with the lieutenant governor, and several Democratic legislators organize a press conference for the sole purpose of distorting the facts on abortion rights in Connecticut? To create outrage and fear in the electorate, perhaps? This is not new, nor is it illegal – our First Amendment covers that. Is this appropriate for individuals entrusted with upholding the laws in our state to engage in this kind of behavior for perceived political gain? Especially for a party with such political domination.

The purpose of the press conference was to call out Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski and lieutenant governor candidate Laura Devlin for not responding to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s recent federal abortion proposal. They were adding unneeded fuel to an already well-stoked fire in the wake of the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June charging that Connecticut will “fall to the far right extremists” and overturn our current law protecting women’s choice. Each speaker pronounced that the “extremists” were coming for Connecticut. Their one-note drumbeat continues today.

THE FACTS: Gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski and running mate, state Rep. Laura Devlin, have repeatedly said they support current state law on this issue with no plans to change it. Dozens of times they’ve stated on the record, their support. Rep. Devlin has votes that prove her word on this. 

MORE FACTS: Connecticut codified the right to abortion in 1990. In 32 years, there has not once been a successful move to overturn this state law. There continues to be strong bipartisan support for women’s reproductive rights in CT. In addition, women’s reproductive benefits of the ACA were codified in state law in 2018 with strong bipartisan support. Legislation passed this year – also with bipartisan support – protecting providers of abortion services from litigation from other states that prohibit abortions and allows nurse practitioners and midwives the ability to perform some early abortion services.

There is no question that abortion is a sensitive and deeply emotional issue for many people in our state. I understand and empathize with that and know that we must be ever vigilant to protect the right for women to make personal decisions about their own healthcare and reproductive rights. Connecticut has – with bipartisan support – been a decades-long leader in supporting women’s reproductive rights and will continue to be a leader. Simply, Democrats using it as a lightning rod to misdirect, is not a respectful or productive way to lead. 

Recent polling shows that the economy, safe communities and good schools are the top issues for residents – by far. And still Connecticut remains the only state in the country not to regain all the jobs lost in the 2008 recession. Yes, you read that right. The only state. We continually rank at the bottom of many important economic indicators. 

Given this group loves to exhibit outrage, where were they on …
●    The school construction scandal within the Democrat-run Office of Policy and Management that has resulted in an FBI investigation?
●    The New London Port Authority scandal that has cost our state millions of dollars? 
●    The Cos Cob Elementary School assistant principal appearing to say on camera that he doesn’t hire Catholics or anyone over the age of 30 as teachers? 

They’ve been notably silent on these major issues that affect lives every day in our communities.

Instead of offering effective solutions to the issues important to nearly every constituent in Connecticut – good schools, safe communities, lowering tax burdens – they’ve chosen to distract from the dismal economic record of their party with false narratives and misinformation.  

Don’t we all deserve forthright productive dialogue focused on solving problems and creating practical solutions right now?

Rep. Terrie Wood represents the 141st House district, which includes parts of Norwalk and Darien. She is not seeking reelection. 

This article was published on Oct 19th, 2022, in The Darien Times

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