Abortion Rights on the Line
Every decision about pregnancy is deeply personal regardless of the pregnancy outcome – and every person deserves the right to make their own decision with respect, free from shame and stigma, and without political interference. No one’s health should be compromised, or health care access denied because of who they are or where they live.
Right now, abortion access is being dismantled across this country and people’s rights and decisions about their own bodies are being stripped away. We are at a crisis point.
State politicians have become emboldened, cruel, and vindictive – passing laws to eliminate abortion access for all. And their plan is working; already, the courts have repeatedly upheld Texas’s six-week abortion ban, the most extreme in the country, and by this summer the United States Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, overruling nearly 50 years of legal precedent and opposing the overwhelming majority, 80% of Americans, who support legal abortion.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade means that 36 million women – nearly half the women of reproductive age in America – and more people who can become pregnant could lose access to abortion. States are passing increasingly radical, restrictive laws designed to ban abortion outright – they are not based on science, they are not based on health care, and they are not letting up.
When one state passes a restrictive abortion ban, other states use a similar playbook and take it even a step further, leading to a wave of increasingly extreme abortion bans across the country. Oklahoma, Idaho, and eight other states are attempting to pass their very own Texas copycat bills.
With constant and steady determination, politicians have passed harsher anti-abortion legislation in record numbers with nearly 600 abortion restrictions introduced in 2021 alone, and more than 100 were signed into law – a record number in any one year since Roe v. Wade. They are now on track for even more in 2022, with politicians already introducing 519 abortion restrictions in 41 states.
We cannot just watch as the courts and politicians across the country strip away our reproductive rights and further criminalize pregnancy — which is a direct result of white supremacy.
The urgency of this moment is clear. We know that when states pass abortion bans, the burden is on patients who need access to essential, time sensitive care and providers and clinics in neighboring states who want to support abortion access and serve the influx of patients leaving their communities to access care where they can.
And anyone who cannot travel due to distance or cost is denied their constitutional right and forced to remain pregnant against their will. We know who these systemic barriers and abortion bans hurt the most: Black and Latinx people, people with low incomes, people who live in rural areas, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically trans and nonbinary people, and anyone shut out of our health care system due to systemic racism and discriminatory policies.
More than 30 years ago, Connecticut took bold and courageous action: codifying the right to abortion in our state laws in 1990. But we know legal protection alone has never been enough to ensure access for every person who needs abortion care. With reproductive rights and abortion access under attack across the country, the Connecticut General Assembly must act now to expand access to abortion for all patients. Our regulations create medically unnecessary barriers to abortion and do not reflect how modern medical care is provided.
That is why we must expand abortion access in Connecticut by passing H.B. 5261: An Act Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care to allow advanced practice clinicians (APCs) to provide safe, routine aspiration abortion to their patients.