NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut leaders, healthcare professionals, and organizations are speaking out after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and handing states authority to drastically limit or ban the procedure.
The decision by a majority of conservative justices to fundamentally reshape American society by overturning the landmark 1973 precedent is certain to ignite a political firestorm and yield a complex patchwork of state laws that will effectively block large swathes of the population from terminating unwanted pregnancies.
Friday’s ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
In May, Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn) signed Public Act 22-19, touted as a first-in-the-nation law that will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut. The law also expands abortion access in Connecticut by expanding the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care.
Lamont said he’s “grateful” that state laws “make it clear that women have a right to choose.”
Today’s Supreme Court decision drastically oversteps the constitutional right for Americans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions without government interference. Decisions on reproductive healthcare should only be made between a patient and their doctor without the interference of politicians. This ruling will not only result in a patchwork of unequal laws among the states, but more importantly, it will result in dangerous and life-threatening situations similar to what this country witnessed countless times in the era prior to the landmark Roe case in which women died or were left severely injured because they could not access the medical care that they should have every right to access on their own.
I am grateful to live in Connecticut, where our laws make it clear that women have a right to choose. As long as I am governor, reproductive rights will be protected in Connecticut and I will do everything in my power to block laws from being passed that restrict those rights.Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.)
Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz (D-Conn.)
Today is a dark and devastating day for women across this nation. This ruling demolishes almost a half century of settled law ensuring women’s reproductive freedom, and the right to have an abortion is an integral part of a women’s reproductive freedom. This ruling is cruel and unconscionable because it targets poor women, indigenous women and women of color in particular. This ruling does not mean that women will no longer receive abortions, but millions of women will no longer have access to safe abortions. This ruling will criminalize health care providers, and half of our country. This unbelievable decision moves our country backward by preventing women from achieving full equality by overturning a law that a majority of our country supports.
While I am incredibly proud that Connecticut is a leader in protecting women’s reproductive rights with our first-in-the-nation law that protects medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut, many women will still be left without options. It is time that other states step up and do the same to protect the women in their states, and stop letting anti-abortion rhetoric dismantle decades of progress. Governor Lamont and I want women across the country to know that Connecticut is a safe harbor, we will provide reproductive care to any woman who needs it, and we will protect the medical providers who provide that necessary care.Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-Conn.)
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
In overturning Roe, the Court strips women of the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions and puts that power in the hands of the government.
A woman no longer has the right to decide when and whether to bear children. In fact, if Mitch McConnell is in charge, he’ll be leading a national ban on abortion, shredding laws in Connecticut and other states protecting women’s choice.
Every American should have the right to decide whether and when to have children. Politicians do not know better than women what kind of care they need from their physicians. The government should never be allowed to dictate decisions about pregnancy that should remain between a woman and her doctor. The government should not be able to impose a forced pregnancy on anyone – especially a pregnancy that is the result of abuse or rape or threatens their life.U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
A group of unelected politicians masquerading as justices just eliminated a constitutional right that generations of women have known and relied on – the right to make decisions about their own bodies, to decide if and when to have children. This is a disaster for every person in every state – even in states like Connecticut that have proactively protected the right to an abortion. And it’s only the beginning. Overturning Roe was the first step toward achieving the Republicans’ ultimate goal: a nationwide abortion ban. Today is a devastating day, and those of us who believe government should stay out of women’s health care must do everything in our power to fight back. Giving up is not an option.U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
I wish I was shocked, but I sadly am not. This activist conservative Supreme Court that lambasts decisions it does not like as judicial activism has made a dangerous move, disregarding science and decades of legal precedent to strip away a woman’s fundamental and constitutional right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake, this decision puts women’s lives at risk.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy, for whatever reason, is an immensely personal decision that can only be made by a woman after receiving counsel from her doctor and whoever else she chooses. This Supreme Court’s action today is not about protecting life. It is about stripping power, control, and dignity away from women. Their hypocrisy and cruelty for those that do not subscribe to their warped worldview is the point.
We must immediately act. Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years. Overturning it now sets a dangerous precedent and opens the door to the end of additional judicial precedents. The right to privacy is at stake. Access to contraception is at stake. Gay marriage is at stake. I shudder to think about what the conservative majority of the Supreme Court will choose to strip away next.
For decades, GOP lawmakers have sought to overturn Roe. Their goal is clear: a total ban on abortions across the nation. We know several states are poised to outlaw the right to choose in the wake of this ruling. We cannot allow these draconian laws to take effect. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join the House in protecting abortion rights by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act.
I am proud that Connecticut has proactively taken steps to protect the right to an abortion and has created a sanctuary for those seeking an abortion. We will continue to the lead the way, but we cannot be complacent and assume these protections will last forever. We cannot and should not accept a world where women are hostage to their geography.
The majority of Americans support the right to choose, and I swear I will not stop fighting with them to protect it.House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Rep. John Larson (CT-01)
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn almost 50 years of precedent and subjugate women’s rights to their own bodies is shameful. Abortion is now completely outlawed in 13 states with more expected to follow.
The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act ten months ago, and the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked in April of this year. The Senate knows the urgency to protect this right, and the filibuster is once again standing in the way. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say you need 60 votes to pass a law.
I am proud Connecticut has already taken action to protect the right to safe and legal abortion, but the Senate must act at a federal level to ensure every American in every state can access the reproductive care they need. There is no time to waste; the Women’s Health Protection Act must become law now.Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01)
Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme)
The Supreme Court’s decision does not change a woman’s right to choose in the state of Connecticut, nor will it. In Connecticut, the protections in Roe v. Wade were codified in state law in 1990. Over the years Connecticut has been joined by many other states in enacting similar protections, and the right to choose is broadly protected across New England. The Supreme Court decision does not and will not change the Connecticut laws that have embedded these protections in state law.Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme)
Themis Klarides, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate
I am pro-choice and in the legislature worked to protect women’s right to access safe early-term abortion services.
I know the rhetoric will be heated and adversarial on this, but here in Connecticut where the right to a safe, legal and hopefully rare abortion is safely enshrined into law, I urge focus on the issues that CAN change, such as making Connecticut a safe, more affordable place to raise a family and start a business.Themis Klarides
Leora Levy, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate
Today the Supreme Court decision has returned America to valuing, respecting and protecting Life. Following decades of babies’ lives being wrongfully extinguished, the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Dobbs v Jackson marks a return to SCOTUS Justices upholding the Constitution and a rejection of the judicial activism of the last 50 years. Unfortunately, we cannot turn back time and ensure a chance for life to the 45 million babies who never had one, but we can celebrate the end of progressive pressure to abandon the Constitution and our American values.
Children represent the promise of America’s future. Today that future is much brighter with the decision to protect their right to birth. I commend the wisdom of our Supreme Court Justices who reaffirmed that America is a Constitutional Republic by returning this issue to the individual States as stated in our Constitution.Leora Levy
Peter Lumaj, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate
Roe v. Wade was an unconstitutional decision when it was rendered back in 1973 — Today’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a landmark decision that rights that wrong.Peter Lumaj
This is a victory for the Constitution, our most vulnerable, the unborn and puts this debate back where it belongs — in the hands of the states.
This is a monumental day for the pro-life movement and I stand with them in celebration today.
State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor)
Today, our courts have decided that safe abortions will no longer be allowed in much of the country. This decision will lead to death, severe illness and complications due to unsafe abortions. The clock has been dialed back about 50 years.State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor)
State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford)
This decision moves our country backwards. While we have Roe Versus Wade codified in Connecticut, this is a step backwards for women’s rights and reproductive freedom. I am saddened by the supreme court’s decision, but resolved to continue to fight in Connecticut to protect the rights of all of our residents.State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford)
State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown)
Five right-wing justices have thrown down the gauntlet, jeopardizing the reproductive rights of millions of families across the country. The reckless scope of this decision is simply staggering – it threatens not just the right to abortion, but all kinds of other rights as well, including rights to marry and rights to contraception. The Supreme Court may be stuck in the 19th century, but Connecticut now has an obligation to review our laws to ensure 21st century access to health care not just in our state but nationwide. Our role shouldn’t be underestimated – a century and a half ago, Connecticut was a critical stop on the Underground Railroad. We should consider playing a same role today for women facing threats and imprisonment in nearly half the country.State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown)
Attorney General William Tong
Tonight, millions of women nationwide will end their day with fewer rights than they woke up with. We need to be clear-eyed and realistic about just how dangerous this decision is for women, patients, and doctors, and what it signals for every single major decision before the Court. Make no mistake—this is just the beginning of a systematic right-wing effort to rewrite decades of bedrock legal precedent, the foundation of which is our long-recognized right to privacy in making our most personal decisions. We are about to see a tsunami of radical litigation and legislation aimed at further eroding rights we have taken for granted—some for generations. Marriage equality, inter-racial marriage, and access to birth control are all in the crosshairs. We know already there are plans to push for a nationwide abortion ban should Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress. If that happens, I will be the first to sue. This decision carves our nation in two—states that trust the personal and professional decisions of women and doctors, and states where craven politicians control and criminalize those choices. Connecticut is a safe state, but we will need to be vigilant, aggressive and proactive to defend our rights.Attorney General William Tong
Comptroller Natalie Braswell
Today’s Supreme Court decision is grotesque and a direct attack on women across the nation. This is a reminder that progress is not guaranteed. Without a far-reaching and relentless effort to ensure our government reflects the common good and works on behalf of all its people, we will inevitably see more extremist rulings in the future, threatening everything from civil rights and marriage equality to environmental protections and access to public education. While I’m grateful to live in a state like Connecticut that guarantees access to safe and legal abortions, individual states can’t overcome the extremist, anti-democrat sentiment oozing out of far-right courts, legislatures and the media that guides them. President Biden and Congress must act urgently to pass national protections for abortion access, and start undoing the rot at the core of American democracy.Comptroller Natalie Braswell
Bob Stefanowski, Republican candidate for governor of Connecticut
Today’s Supreme Court ruling has absolutely no impact on Connecticut residents. I will continue to support Connecticut’s state law, which has codified a woman’s right to choose, with an appropriate ban on late-term abortion. Governor Lamont takes the extreme position that parents don’t even have a right to know their daughter is considering an abortion, while I support mandatory notification to parents for girls under sixteen.Bob Stefanowski
Dr. Larry Lazor, the Republican candidate for Congress in CT-01
Overturning Roe v. Wade leaves abortion access under state control. Having cared for women and families for over 32 years I’ve seen many difficult situations and know the need for the option. I will push to protect these rights on a federal level the right way, through legislation.Dr. Larry Lazo, the Republican candidate for Congress in CT-01
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the right to an abortion is an afront on a person’s bodily autonomy and ability to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions.
It is my firm belief that access to safe, legal reproductive care is a fundamental human right – and the weighty decision on whether or not to have a child should be made by a patient in consultation with their doctor alone.
The City of New Haven is committed to ensuring safe, quality access of reproductive care to any New Haven resident that needs it, and there are many ways residents can access reproductive care, including through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, Fair Haven Community Health Center, Yale New Haven Health, or their own primary care physician and OBGYN.
New Haven is, and will always remain, a place where no one is denied the right to choose or the reproductive care they deserve. We are not going back.Justin Elicker
ACLU of Connecticut
The Supreme Court issued a shameful ruling today overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago. Today’s ruling will allow anti-abortion politicians to ban abortion in states across the country which will force countless people to remain pregnant and have children against their will. The ruling in this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will set off a chain reaction with states banning abortion and criminalizing essential care throughout entire regions of the country.ACLU of Connecticut
Connectict Catholic Public Affairs Conference
Today, with the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision on the right to abortion, we enter a new era of opportunity and responsibility to safeguard life and protect the most innocent among us. We welcome this historic reversal, which affirms the right to life of an unborn child and we pledge to do all that is possible to support pregnant women who face serious challenges.
The Dobbs decision presents all of us with new and persistent challenges and opportunities. Future debates over abortion must be peaceful and respectful. There are people deeply divided by their beliefs on both sides of this issue. Acts of violence and other hateful actions will only make it more difficult for constructive discourse. It is time for reconciliation as we support a culture of life together.Chris Healy, Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference