HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, alongside the newly formed Reproductive Rights Caucus, unveiled a plan Tuesday to provide a free legal advice hotline for those seeking an abortion.
“You heard Senator Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and others say that if they retake the Senate, they will try to pass a federal ban on abortion as a legal matter,” Tong, a Democrat, said. “There is utterly no basis for the federal government to pass a federal ban on abortion. No right. No authority. It is utterly unconstitutional. And if they try it, Connecticut will be the first to sue.”
Along with the hotline, Tong’s office has also added a special counsel for reproductive rights.
The Catholic Conference criticized the announcement.
“There is no threat to anyone on the abortion front,” said Chris Healy, the executive director of the Catholic Conference. “It seems that Attorney General Tong wants to turn the ‘Constitution State’ into the ‘Abortion State.’ We should be thinking about helping pregnant women, young mothers, providing care counseling, providing more adoption services, rather than sitting around worrying about whether or not someone can get an abortion.”
Healy said the group will push for parental notification for minors who pursue an abortion.
Republicans called the announcements a political move for Tong, who is running for re-election.
“Sadly, state Democrats continue to weaponize the topic of women’s reproductive health by stepping in front of television cameras to double down on their false narrative that elected Republicans and candidates here are threatening a health care choice that’s enshrined in Connecticut law,” House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said in a written statement on Tuesday. “They’re doing it because they’ve failed miserably on the affordability and public safety concerns that we’re hearing about as we knock on doors in our communities.”
Democrats, he said, don’t have a plan to reduce the cost of living or make neighborhoods safer.
“Unfortunately, anyone who is looking to Democrats to get serious about those issues will find them solely fixated on using women’s reproductive health care as a campaign tool. Meanwhile, residents are understandably worried about how they’ll afford to heat their homes and pay for groceries as inflation continues to squeeze everyone’s finances.”
Reproductive Rights Caucus said it is putting together a plan for the next legislative session, including paying for and making abortion care more accessible.
The caucus is made up of all Democrats. Republicans who support abortion rights told News 8 they were not invited to the caucus and Tong’s event.
The hotline can be reached at (212) 899-5567.