Connecticut Moves Closer to Abortion Bill to Counter Idaho and Texas Bans

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Tthe Connecticut The legislature is poised to make the state a legal safe harbor for abortion seekers and providers to counter moves in Republican-led states to implement bans imposed by private citizens.

The invoice, HB 5414is a response to the laws in Texas Y Idaho ban abortions in the early stages of pregnancy and authorize private parties to take legal action against abortion providers and people who help patients obtain abortions. The Connecticut measure passed the state House earlier this week on a vote of 87-60, with 14 Democrats voting against the bill and seven Republicans crossing the aisle to support it. While the bill awaits action in the Democratic-majority Senate, Gov. Ned Lamont has signaled that he will support it.

“Culture wars are licking our shores here in Connecticut, and we stand united. We’re making sure that when it comes to our women, when it comes to our election, when it comes to these culture wars, we stand up for women in the state of Connecticut, and that’s not going to change,” Lamont said. saying on Tuesday.

The bill would provide other Democratic-majority legislatures with a blueprint to protect abortion providers from red state actions aimed at limiting access to abortions. Laws in Texas and Idaho, which prompted Democratic representatives Matt Blumenthal and Jillian Gilchrest to write HB 5414, prohibit the procedure once a heartbeat is detected at around six weeks. The texas law it gives anyone the right to bring civil lawsuits against an abortion provider or anyone who “aides or abets” the procedure, and the Texan who sues can win an award of at least $10,000 in “statutory damages” for abortion. In IdahoMeanwhile, the heartbeat ban includes a similar enforcement provision, but reduces the number of people who can sue an abortion provider to include the patient and family members of the unborn child. Those civil lawsuits can fetch at least $20,000 plus legal fees.

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If enacted, Connecticut state courts would be prohibited from enforcing the penalties established by courts in other states with the civil enforcement mechanism in place, providing anyone who has performed or facilitated an abortion in Connecticut with a legal shield. Under current law, if an abortion provider is convicted in Texas and ordered to pay $10,000 but flees to Connecticut, Connecticut must send that person back to Texas to face the consequences. Under HB 5414, the abortion provider would not be extradited to Texas for performing the procedure, which is legal in Connecticut.

Anyone from out of state who is sued for aiding and abetting an abortion, such as the parent or guardian accompanying the patient to Connecticut for the procedure, can legally fight back. This means that a Texas mother who is sued for taking her daughter out of state for an abortion can countersue, collecting damages and attorneys’ fees, including those spent to defend herself in her home state and fees spent to file a lawsuit in Connecticut. .

The bill also states that Connecticut officials may not share private health information with out-of-state investigators seeking to punish anyone who aids and abets an abortion and has come to Connecticut for the procedure.

“As states across the country pass extreme laws seeking to criminalize or ban abortion rights, I am proud that CT continues to be a leader in reproductive rights.” saying Blumenthal, who is the son of Senator Richard Blumenthal, the senior senator from Connecticut.

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The recent proliferation of laws seeking to penalize people in other states is likely to trigger another legal conflict, forcing judges to decide whether one state can regulate activity in another, as long as that activity concerns the state. As laws like those in Texas and Idaho become more prevalent, more women are expected to seek abortions in other states with different laws on the books.


The Connecticut bill would go into effect on July 1, 2022, shortly after the Supreme Court rules on a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The conservative-majority court has signaled its willingness to side with the anti-abortion side in the case, known as Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which raises the question of whether states can ban abortion before the time the baby can live outside the womb, which is generally considered to be between 22 and 24 weeks.

The possibility of weakening Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion, has encouraged Republican-led states to introduce a wave of bills aimed at limiting access to the procedure. For example, a member of the Missouri Legislature is advancing a policy like the one in Texas which, if successful, would criminalize the facilitation of abortions. Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman’s proposal, which she is pushing as an amendment to three health-related House bills, would allow citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri resident have an abortion, including out-of-state doctors, the person who transports the patient to the clinic, and anyone who helps pay for the procedure. The policy targets providers who help Missourians obtain abortions in Illinois, where a Planned Parenthood clinic is located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

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