Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie, along with a posse of other non-partisan Connecticut reporters and commentators, have noted a slip-up made by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob Stefanowski.
Stefanowski told Hearst and WFSB that he supported a woman’s right to abortion “in the first trimester” of the birth process and then a day later corrected himself. Connecticut law allows abortion until the fetus is “viable.”
Stefanowski said, “I misspoke last night, and anybody who has been following this campaign closely knows it. Nothing about may campaign has changed… I’ve said for months that Connecticut’s law won’t change when I’m governor – and it won’t. Period. Full Stop.”
Not enough, Rennie commented. “Stefanowski appeared not to have understood the magnitude of his blunder.” Perhaps, Rennie speculated, “the former payday executive has never been fluent in the law of the reproductive rights in Connecticut.
Worse, “Robert of Arabia used the conclusion of his statement to repudiate the tone he struck a few paragraphs before. Stefanowski blames Democrat [Governor Ned] Lamont for the attention paid to the former loan shark’s confusion on the state of reproductive law. Stefanowski says the abortion fiasco is a diversion from Lamont’s support [of] the police accountability bill that the Republican has been highlighting in the frantic final days of the campaign. Just don’t ask him to explain it.”
Only Democrats, it would appear, in Rennie's universe are permitted to amend misspeaks -- they rarely do, because oversight among Connecticut’s commentariate is lacking.
Is anyone at the Harford Courant keeping a count of President Joe Biden’s frequent misspeaks or U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s grand misspeaks at a communist gathering in New Haven, or his serial misspeaks concerning his military service in Vietnam? Blumenthal is up for re-election in the 2022 contest.
Stefanowski’s position on abortion in Connecticut has been hashed and rehashed. The Supreme Court has ruled that state legislatures, not judges, not the federal government, not governors, not progressive leaning political commentators -- but legislatures-- must determine the legal boundaries of abortion in the various states.
The boundaries on abortion in Connecticut were set in statutes decades ago when the Democrat dominated General Assembly produced legislation that folded Roe v Wade into Connecticut’s law. By affirming that state legislators should decide the parameters of abortion, the Supreme Court, at the same time, removed legal opposition to abortion from anyone but state legislators.
People on the left for whom abortion rights are nearly an article of faith approaching a religious doctrine continue to suggest that the Supreme Court, in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, has abolished abortion. Only state legislators may abolish or regulate abortion. The Supreme Court did NOT rule that Connecticut’s General Assembly may not determine the boundaries of abortion in Connecticut. In fact, just the opposite is true.
Connecticut governors, not excepting Stefanowski and Lamont, are constitutionally obligated to execute laws passed by the state’s General Assembly. That is why we call governors “chief executives.” Their primary constitutional obligation is faithfully to “execute” congressional law.
Rennie knows this, Lamont knows this, Stefanowski knows this, the vanishing Editorial Board at the Hartford Courant knows this, the head of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut knows this, and all the angels and saints in Heaven know this.
The mute protests of aborted fetuses in Connecticut will have been rendered pointless shortly after the last breath of the pre-born is drawn. Fetal defense among progressives is practically non-existent in Connecticut. Courts, in past awkward decisions, have agilely moved past the “science” of birth, which holds that a fetus, at any stage of pregnancy, is qualitatively and biologically different than other “parts of a woman’s body,” yet another unexploded political myth. A fetus is in no sense “like” other “parts of a woman’s body” – a removable appendix, say, or a decayed tooth.
Indeed, when natural birth is not aborted, the born fetus may possibly, 30 years following birth, win a U.S. Congressional seat and proceed to argue awkwardly, as U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal has done, that Big Abortion should alone be the only exception to the Blumenthal rule that any large and profitable business enterprise may not escape reasonable legislative regulation.
Stefanowski need not retreat in any of his remarks from the plain findings of science or political philosophy or religious presuppositions when he insists that, as a practical and Constitutional matter, governors cannot do other than execute the laws of the state.
The recent Supreme Court decision ratifies and reinforces Connecticut’s abortion statue. Constitutional provisions require Stefanowski to faithfully execute laws passed by the General Assembly.
But Stefanowski’s often repeated pledge that he would not – because he cannot – change Connecticut’s laws, and his insistence that frail human beings sometimes make verbal errors, apparently are not persuasive enough for former Republican state assemblypersons like Rennie, a lawyer whose acquaintance with statutory and Constitutional law has in the past led him towards right reason and non-partisan judgment.
So then, what would be persuasive enough for the abortion rights grand inquisitors? Nothing less than a public whipping in the upcoming gubernatorial battle with Lamont would suffice. Even then, a public auto-da-fé might more adequately purify the public conscience.
Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.