The Freedom From Religion Foundation commends Connecticut legislators for defending abortion access amid the anti-abortion blitzkrieg occurring in statehouses nationwide.
Lawmakers in Connecticut have passed a bill that expands the types of medical professionals who can provide abortion care, such as advanced practice registered nurses, nurse-midwives and physician assistants. House Bill 5414 also protects residents and visitors from “facing penalities under other states’ anti-abortion laws.” This includes criminal and civil penalities, such as the $10,000 and $20,000 abortion bounty-hunting bills passed in Texas and Utah. Gov. Ned Lamont has pledged to sign this bill, which would go into effect on July 1. Notably, this bill prohibits Connecticut’s governor from extraditing someone who has received, provided or aided someone with abortion to a state where it is considered criminal activity. Under this new law, people or organizations in Connecticut who are sued for receiving, performing or providing support for abortions in other states could countersue for damages and other costs.
Such legislation has never been more timely. While we await the Supreme Court decision over a 15-week ban in Mississippi that will impact the future of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion state legislators are passing harmful bills all over the country. The Guttmacher Institute has reported that as of April 15, 33 abortion restrictions have been enacted in nine states so far this year. As Connecticut state Sen. Steve Cassano explained, “We are countering those bills by protecting residents and visitors alike from others seeking to persecute them.”
“Hip, hip, hooray for the Connecticut Legislature and governor for acting to protect abortion rights,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “The organized proponents of recriminalizing abortion care and turning back the clock are exclusively motivated by religion. This is a religious war against women and their right to reproductive self-determination.”
Abortion is an extremely safe medical procedure, and a report by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has found that complications from abortion are rare. Dr. Ned Calonge, the co-chair of the committee that wrote the study, explained that state restrictions and bans on abortion are not based in science. Furthermore, Dr. Hal Lawrence, the CEO of the American College of Obestricians and Gynecologists, an organization with nearly 60,000 members, stated that any claims about abortion restrictions protecting women’s health “have been totally debunked” and that “delaying and making people wait and go through hoops of unnecessary, extra procedures does not improve the safety — and, actually, by having them delay can actually worsen the safety.”
This is why the Freedom From Religion Foundation applauds Connecticut legislators for passing a bill that reflects science and protects reproductive health care.