Connecticut seeks to expand abortion rights in response to out-of-state restrictions

know about Connecticut seeks to expand abortion rights in response to out-of-state restrictions

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Connecticut lawmakers have approved a bill that would expand the types of medical professionals who can provide abortion services in the state and protect residents from facing penalties under other states’ anti-abortion laws.

The legislation is in part a response to a wave of new measures in conservative states that restrict access to abortion and in some cases impose civil taxes and criminal penalties about the people who make them.

The Connecticut legislature’s vote comes ahead of an anticipated US Supreme Court decision in coming weeks on a landmark abortion case. In That case, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court is deciding whether a Mississippi ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, long before the fetus is viable outside the womb, is constitutional. Fetal viability is typically between 22 and 24 weeks.

Some Republican leaders say they hope the court will overturn Roe vs. Wadethe 1973 ruling that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion in the first two trimesters, and let states decide whether to allow abortions.

“This legislation takes steps to protect our state from the overreaching laws of others,” said Connecticut State Senator Steve Cassano. said in a statement. “As other states pass increasingly restrictive bills, we are countering those bills by protecting residents and visitors alike from others who seek to persecute them.”

Other blue states, such as Colorado and New Jersey, have recently codified abortion rights into state law in contrast to more conservative jurisdictions that have cracked down on abortion access.

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The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports reproductive rights, reported that as of April 15A total of 33 abortion restrictions have been enacted in nine states so far in 2022. By comparison, 11 measures protecting abortion access have been passed in seven states.

Under House Bill 5414Individuals or organizations in Connecticut who are sued for receiving, performing, or supporting abortions in other states may countersue for damages and other costs.

In Texas, for example, the controversial abortion law known as SB 8 allows people bring civil lawsuits against those who allegedly help Texans get abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Connecticut’s governor would also be restricted from extraditing someone who did something in Connecticut that led to a crime in another state if what they did is legal in Connecticut.

The bill also expands who could perform abortions. Advanced practice registered nurses, nurse midwives, and physician assistants may perform medical and aspiration abortions in Connecticut.

The state Senate approved the bill on Friday after it was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.

It now goes to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature. The Democrat has said he will sign the bill, according to the Hartford Courant.

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