CT lawmakers push to expand abortion access in the state
Top state lawmakers are pushing to expand abortion access in Connecticut as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the future of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Abortion opponents are promising to fight back.
Friday marks the decision's 49th anniversary.
The high court is considering two cases that could roll back, or even overturn, the landmark decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.
"Whether the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or not, those of us in Connecticut are not waiting take action," said state Rep. Jillian Gilchrest.
Regardless of what the Supreme Court rules, legal abortion is guaranteed in Connecticut under state law.
But pro-choice groups say access remains a challenge for many groups. A new Reproductive Rights Caucus is proposing new legislation this year expanding who can offer abortion care, guaranteeing insurance coverage and offering some services remotely through tele-health.
The Family Institute of Connecticut opposes abortion. FIC president Peter Wolfgang says pro-choice groups know abortion isn’t on jeopardy in Connecticut, but are manufacturing a crisis just to make the procedure more common.
"We'll go up there at the State Capitol. We'll fight them, as we always do. Hopefully we'll beat them," said Wolfgang.
Lawmakers return to Hartford on Feb. 9.
Democratic House Speaker Matt Ritter says reproductive rights will be a top priority this session.
"In Connecticut, we're going to go this way. We're going to get stronger, more protective. We're not going to go backwards," said Connecticut House Speak Matt Ritter.
Connecticut became the first state to legalize abortion back in 1990. It was also the first state to ban it back in 1821.