NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut lawmakers advanced legislation last week that abortion rights advocates say is needed to protect in-state medical providers from legal action, as well as patients who travel to Connecticut to terminate a pregnancy and those who help them. It comes amid new abortion restrictions being enacted in a growing number of conservative states.

There was a passionate debate on both sides of the issue. State Rep. Aimee Berger-Girvalo, D-Ridgefield, shared her very personal experience about getting an abortion when she was just 18.

The most interesting and persuasive argument against the abortion bill actually came from State Rep. Trenee McGee, D-West Haven.

McGee argued that expanding abortion access would not provide any benefit to women of color, citing statistics that show women of color already have a disproportionate number of abortions compared to the rest of the childbearing population.

Among other things, Connecticut’s bill would prevent state and local agencies from cooperating in investigations and prosecutions of abortion providers in the state, modify the state’s extradition statutes and prevent an out-of-state patient’s medical records from being disclosed.

The bill would also allow an advanced practice registered nurse, nurse-midwife, or physician assistant to perform the most common type of in-clinic abortion, known as an aspiration abortion. The procedure is currently limited to physicians.

The bill cleared the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 87-60. It now awaits action in the Senate. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said he would sign the legislation into law if it clears the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

This week on Capitol Report, former Connecticut Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D) and former Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R) discuss the bill that is considered by some advocates to be one of the most consequential abortion-related proposals to come up for a vote in the General Assembly since 1990.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.