HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — State leaders announced a reproductive rights telephone hotline and website that they said would make it easier for people looking for information on abortion care in Connecticut.
This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in June, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and giving states the authority to drastically limit or ban the procedure.
“To women across America who need reproductive healthcare: come to Connecticut,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-Conn) said during a press conference Friday.
People can now call 1-866-CTCHOICE (1-866-282-4642) or visit portal.ct.gov/reproductiverights for information on reproductive rights in Connecticut, providers, and other resources.
It is a challenging and possibly dangerous time for those living in states that no longer offer choices.
“People make desperate choices in desperate times, and sometimes people make choices that are not always safe for their own health,” said Commissioner Manisha Juthani of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
One of the problems with the states that have outlawed abortion is that they have also criminalized it. They are threatening to press charges against women who get abortions even if they come to states where it is legal. Right now, Connecticut cannot guarantee that will not happen to people who come here.
“”We’re trying to figure out, not just in Connecticut but across the country, what our strategy is and how we’re going to protect and defend patients, women, doctors, healthcare providers,” explained Attorney General William Tong (D-Conn).
In May, Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law Connecticut’s first major abortion-related legislation in years, the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, aiming to legally protect providers and patients from out-of-state legal actions. The first-in-the-nation law, which went into effect July 1, also allows advanced practice registered nurses, nurse-midwives, or physician assistants to perform aspiration abortions in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.
The attorney general said he would be the first to sue if someone tried to limit abortion access in Connecticut. It is all part of Connecticut being a safe harbor state.
“We provide a full range of choices to our women and let them make the decision, not some politician stepping between you and your doctor,” the Democratic governor said.
The hotline is run by a state contractor trained to answer abortion questions or refer callers to someone who can.
The state’s new website offers information in the following areas:
- Understanding your rights
- Finding a provider
- Paying for an abortion
- Transportation and travel
- Resources for health care professionals and providers
- Community support