‘Safe harbor’ law for abortions takes effect Friday

Abortion 'safe harbor' law takes effect July 1
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:58 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s up to individual states to decide whether women have the right to an abortion.

With a new law that goes into effect this Friday July 1, Connecticut is increasing protections for those who have an abortion in our state.

This law provides more legal protections for women from other states who come to Connecticut for an abortion.

The legislation also provides more protections for the healthcare professionals performing those abortions.

“Connecticut legislature was anticipating the decision that came down on Friday,” said Jilda Aliotta, Associate Professor of Politics, Economics And International Studies at the University Of Hartford.

That’s why a new law adding more protections for women’s reproductive rights soon takes effect in Connecticut.

The bill, signed into law in May, blocks state agencies from assisting in inter-state investigations that would hold someone criminally or civilly liable for receiving abortion services in Connecticut.

“They’re trying to make sure that people feel safe,” said Victor Rodriguez, Chair of Legal Studies and the Political Science Department at the University of New Haven.

If medical records are subpoenaed from courts in other states, Connecticut courts can choose not to grant those requests.

“It basically allows the governor to refuse to extradite anybody from CT to another state for prosecution that involves performing a safe abortion,” said Aliotta.

The legislation was prompted by the controversial Texas law that allows private citizens to take civil action to enforce its abortion ban.

Abortion is legal in Connecticut and Democratic lawmakers have made it clear the state is a safe harbor and will provide reproductive care to any woman who needs it.

“It will protect against the bans on abortions going into effect right away in 13 states and more eventually around the country. People needing that care can come to Connecticut, we’re here for you,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Planned Parenthood offices have already been seeing out of state patients coming to Connecticut.

“Most recently we cared for a patient from Texas who was pregnant from a rape and the Texas ban does not make exception for people who are pregnant from rape. Our health center’s staff were phenomenal and amazing for providing her both excellent medical care and the emotional support that she needed to navigate receiving abortion care because of a rape after traveling 2000 miles,” said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Supporters of the bill hope it serves as a blueprint for other states trying to protect a woman’s right to choose.

Breaking down Connecticut 'safe harbor' laws