March for babies this weekend

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Advocating for moms, babies and families.

March for Babies draws crowds this time of year throughout the state.

The money raised for March of Dimes goes to programs, research and advocacy so that every baby has a fighting chance.

If you were born in the United States in the last 75 years or so you are likely a March of Dimes baby.

“When you are born as a baby here in Connecticut and across the United States – you get things like newborn screening- an opportunity for babies to get screened early before they leave the hospital. March of Dimes has been an instrumental part of that,” says Erin Jones with March of Dimes.

At the capitol on this day — Connecticut Advocacy Day — she is leading a group of passionate supporters.

“We have a couple of bills we want to talk to you about,” says Jones to Republican Senator Len Fasano — among the state lawmakers they are meeting.

“Hearing the voices.” says State Senator Fasano, “and the stories and the rationale is huge”

On the list, a bill raising tobacco use from 18 years old to 21.

Jones explains, “Especially women of child bearing age — smoking is the number one cause — can be the number one cause of low birth rate in prematurity. So we know that if we can reduce the smoking rates we have a good chance of reducing prematurity.”

Passed in committee — a date for a house vote is still not set.

Meantime – a number of March for Babies are scheduled for this Sunday, May 7.

News 8’s Jocelyn Maminta is co-hosting the walk at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven.

Hundreds are also expected in Fairfield and the Greater Waterbury area.

Registration is at 9 a.m.- for more information on locations near you —

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