WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont was joined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra at Planned Parenthood in Waterbury Tuesday.
The visit comes a little more than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed the federal right to apportion. Connecticut law codified the right to abortion in 1990.
The recent decision to overturn Roe has triggered laws in other states making it more difficult to get an abortion. In Connecticut, lawmakers planned for the high court’s ruling after a draft was leaked. State lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation protecting women who travel to Connecticut for an abortion. It’s a so-called safe harbor law.
The law also allows the healthcare providers and patients to recover legal costs if they are subject to a lawsuit for getting or performing an abortion.
Texas now has a law that allows for such claims.
“It is not fair or just or equitable to expect people to travel thousands of miles for basic healthcare and yet that is the burden that we are putting on people in this country,” said Amanda Skinner, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
“What the Supreme Court did was it took a 50-year-old right and flushed it down the toilet,” said Becerra. “In Connecticut, you haven’t lost any rights.”
The visit is seen largely as a political event. Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes are all up for re-election. Both Lamont and Blumenthal have campaign ads running on television about the topic of abortion and women’s rights.
Lamont’s Republican challenger, Bob Stefanowski, is pro-choice with the exception that he would support parental notification if a girl under the age of 16 were to seek an abortion.
Blumenthal faces the eventual winner of the GOP primary next month. Of the three candidates, only one, Themis Klarides, the former House Minority Leader, is pro-choice.