Governor Ned Lamont announced today that he signed a series of bills approved by Connecticut legislators during the most recent session to further protect abortion rights in Connecticut "in the aftermath" of the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.
Lamont explained that while other states are passing new laws to protect the lives of babies in the womb, elected officials in Connecticut remain committed to ensuring that women in the state can terminate their babies if so desired. He called the right to kill one's own baby "an issue of freedom" and promised that he will do everything in his ability to protect that rather dubious right.
The governor specifically thanked the Reproductive Rights Caucus, including co-chairs, State Representative Matt Blumenthal (D-Stamford) and State Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford), for their strong commitment on the issue.
The new laws Governor Lamont signed include:
Protecting medical providers from adverse actions taken by another state: Public Act 23-128 enacts a law protecting licensed medical providers in Connecticut from any adverse actions taken by another state as a result of a provider’s involvement in otherwise legal and competent reproductive health care services. This includes providing reproductive care services on behalf of a patient who arrives in Connecticut from a state where such care has been made illegal. In these situations, the law generally prohibits the suspending, revoking, or denying the renewal of a medical provider’s license or other credentials, so long as those providers are following Connecticut law. (Effective upon passage.)
Allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control: Public Act 23-52 enacts a law allowing pharmacists to prescribe certain types of birth control without patients first needing to visit their doctor as required under previous law. The law permits pharmacists to prescribe a hormonal contraceptive and emergency contraceptive only if they have completed an accredited educational training program related to the prescribing of hormonal contraceptives and emergency contraception. (Effective upon passage, pending the adoption of updated regulations from the Department of Consumer Protection.)
Increasing access to reproductive care by college students at public institutions of higher education:Public Act 23-41 enacts a law requiring public higher education institutions with on-campus residences to develop a plan by January 1, 2024, that addresses students’ need for reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion, and gender-affirming care. (Effective July 1, 2023.)
Protecting the privacy of patient health data online:Public Act 23-56 enacts a law establishing safeguards for the collection, sharing, and selling of personal health data by businesses and service providers operating online platforms in Connecticut that have the ability to collect personal information about an individual. This can include items such as internet searches, GPS tracking devices, and apps that keep track of a person’s health information. (Effective July 1, 2023.)
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewiczcalled the reversal of Roe v. Wade "incredibly disheartening, disappointing, and downright infuriating" but said that she's proud that women can continue to terminate babies in Connecticut, and she will keep fighting to retain that right.
State Representative Gilchrest said she was "pleased" that Connecticut prioritized the right to terminate babies in the state, while she welcomed strengthened abortion protections and expanded access to birth control and emergency contraception.
State Representative Blumenthal called those who oppose terminating healthy babies in the womb "extremists" and said he was proud to fight for "reproductive justice" rights, calling them "fundamental rights".
Gretchen Raffa, vice president of public policy, advocacy, and organizing at Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut welcomed the new laws because she said there were "devastating consequences" to abortion bans.
The devastating consequence of abortion bans, of course, being LIFE.