NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new abortion law goes into effect Friday in Connecticut — the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act.
State lawmakers and officials admit this law is uncharted territory. It is meant to “safe harbor” or legally protect those seeking an abortion and was written in anticipation of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
“The first piece of the legislation is that it expands access to abortion care here in Connecticut and how it does that is it increases the types of providers who can provide aspiration abortion,” said State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest.
Gilchrest co-sponsored the bill and said this was put into place to improve wait times.
“Why this is important is because we were already seeing two-week waiting periods for folks to get abortions in the state of Connecticut and with a procedure like this, it’s time-sensitive,” Gilchrest said. “We expect to see more individuals needing abortions because we’re likely to see out-of-state residents coming into Connecticut.”
The law also legally protects out-of-state abortion seekers and Connecticut providers from lawsuits from anti-abortion states.
“We really are a state that folks can come to and feel safe. We do need to see how this plays out – we anticipate that other states will fight back,” Gilchrest said. “But we are also prepared to continue to push to protect women’s access to abortion care here in the state of Connecticut.”
Meanwhile, sales of over-the-counter “Plan B” emergency contraceptives are spiking. Some of the nation’s largest pharmacies are now limiting the number of morning-after-pills a customer can buy.
“Immediately following the Supreme Court decision, we saw a sharp increase in the sale of emergency contraceptives and implemented a temporary purchase limit to ensure equitable access. Sales have since returned to normal and we’ve removed purchase limits in-store and on CVS.com. We continue to have ample supply of emergency contraceptives to meet customer needs.”
“I think that is people trying to take control of and take action in their own hands in the ways that they can, in light of being in an environment where they think that, and rightly so depending on what state they’re in, that they are not going to have actual full freedom and choice over their own body,” said Amanda Skinner, CEO of Planned Parenthood of New England.
Planned Parenthood said it is important to note that “Plan B” is an emergency contraceptive and not the same as abortion medication.
News 8 reached out to several pharmacies. They say when they tried to reorder “Plan B,” it is out of stock or back-ordered.