CT reacts to Supreme Court Roe V. Wade leak

CT lawmakers vow to protect abortion rights
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 7:10 AM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn a landmark case involving a women’s right to choose.

Politico released what it said was a draft opinion showing the conservative-leaning majority planned to overturn Roe V. Wade.

In Connecticut, Democrats are prepared to fight.

The supreme court was expected to issue a final decision on abortion in late June, but the leak has brought this to a head sooner.

This has outraged Democrats and those who support a protected right that has been law for nearly 50 years.

“I remember what happened to my friends who got pregnant and didn’t have access to legal abortion including a close relative who got on a plane and fly to D.C .where it was legal to have an abortion,” said Sen. Julie Kushner (D-Danbury).

Kushner remembers what it was like before the Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to choose.

Now that right is in danger of being eliminated.

“Abortion is healthcare, abortion is freedom and our dignity and humanity are not up for debate,” said Liz Gustafson with Pro Choice CT.

There is grave concern of what could come next.

“This opinion is showing us that the supreme court is showing us not only to roll back the reproductive rights of women, but the right of LGBTQ people a cross our country and the rights of people of color,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.

The Supreme Court’s decision could mobilize Democrats in this year’s election.

Connecticut’s elected leaders have already reaffirmed reproductive rights with legislation that expands access and protects medical providers and patients who come from other states where abortions are illegal.

“I will defend you anywhere any place. This is healthcare it is a fundamental human right and this will stand in Connecticut. Connecticut will fight to protect women, patients and reproductive health care,” said Attorney General William Tong.

Gov. Ned Lamont reaffirmed Connecticut’s commitment to reproductive rights legislation that he plans to sign.

“I am very appreciative to the majority of lawmakers in Connecticut who had the foresight to draft this legislation at a time when the right to a safe and legal abortion in America is in jeopardy,” Lamont said. “I am proud to stand up for access to reproductive healthcare and reproductive freedom. As long as I am governor of this great state, we’ll never waiver on the right to choose, and the belief that medical decisions should be made between a patient and their doctor. As soon as this bill is transmitted to my office, I will sign it into law.”

Lamont said the bill will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion. Additionally, the bill expands abortion access in Connecticut by expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care.

The legislation, House Bill 5414, was approved by the state House of Representatives on April 19 and by the state Senate on April 29. The bill is now in the possession of the nonpartisan Legislative Commissioners’ Office for engrossing and supervision of printing in its final form. Once that’s complete, it is required to go through an approval process by the Office of the House Clerk, the Office of the Senate Clerk, and the Office of the Secretary of the State before it can finally be presented to Lamont for his signature.

The legislation that passed got bi-partisan support and is now headed to the governor who says he will sign it.

While many are hoping the Supreme Court doesn’t overturn this protected right, they are gearing up for a fight.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong joined a news conference with the state’s Reproductive Rights Caucus at 12:30 p.m. to express outrage.

CT's Reproductive Rights Caucus responds to the conservative-leaning Roe V. Wade leaked opinion.

According to Politico, the leaked draft was circulated in early February and the case in question was Dobbs v. Jackson. It regarded Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion.

In it, Justice Samuel Alito called the case “wrongly decided” and added the contentious issue should be decided by politicians, not the courts.

Just days ago, Connecticut state lawmakers passed an abortion rights bill that would protect a woman and doctors in Connecticut if they perform an abortion on someone who is from a state where it is banned.

“This draft Supreme Court ruling demolishes almost half a century of settled law, ensuring women’s reproductive freedom and marks a sad day in our nation’s history,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. “It is outrageous and it is wrong. Here in CT, ROE is enshrined in state law, and we are working to expand reproductive rights.”

The co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Reproductive Rights Caucus released a statement.

“We are all heartbroken for all those who will soon lose access to safe, legal abortion,” the caucus said.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said she was horrified, ashamed and angry.

“But I am proud to represent Connecticut, a state that is proactively protecting the right to choose and creating a sanctuary for those seeking an abortion,” DeLauro said. “We will continue to lead the way.

Tong released his own statement late Monday night.

“It is impossible to overstate just how tragic and destructive this decision would be, and what it would mean for the rights of women and patients nationwide,” Tong said. “This would fundamentally and irrevocably change who we are as a nation, stripping rights that have been hard-wired into our laws for as long as many of us have been alive. If this decision stands, America will be immediately divided in two—states that will trust the personal and professional decisions of women and doctors, and states where craven politicians will seek to control and criminalize those choices. Connecticut will be a safe state for women, patients, and doctors. We are still in the process of reviewing this leaked decision and are in close coordination with our multistate partners. One thing is clear tonight—this decision changes everything. We must be clear-eyed and realistic about how bad this is, and what this potential decision, and this catastrophic leak, signals for every single major legal question before the Court.”

The Court said is not commenting on the report. Sources told CBS News that Chief Justice John Roberts is likely to order an investigation that includes the FBI to determine the source of the leak.

The final opinion on this case has not been released and is not expected until late June. Votes could change before then.

Lawmakers vow to protect abortion rights in Connecticut
The U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn a landmark case involving a women’s right to choose.