Sunday, May 28

Supreme court ruling against abortion will have no effect in CT

The US Supreme Court decision Friday overturned nearly 50 years of reproductive rights, but it will mean little for Connecticut, where abortion is codified in state law and the General Assembly this year approved legislation to become a safe harbor for physicians and patients from throughout the country .

While the morning decision did not come as a surprise, following the earlier leaking of a draft court opinion, disappointment and triumph depended on where state residents stood on the issue.

“Tonight, millions of women nationwide will end their day with fewer rights than they woke up with,” said state Attorney General William Tong. “We need to be clear-eyed and realistic about just how dangerous this decision is for women, patients, and doctors, and what it signals for every single major decision before the Court.”

Tong said the ruling is likely “just the beginning of a systematic right-wing effort to rewrite decades of bedrock legal precedent, the foundation of which is our long-recognized right to privacy in making our most personal decisions.” He predicted a forthcoming “tsunami of radical litigation and legislation aimed at further eroding rights we have taken for granted—some for generations” with marriage equality, inter-racial marriage, and access to birth control as possible future targets.

“We already know there are plans to push for a nationwide abortion ban should Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress,” Tong said.

But the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference called the decision “a new era of opportunity and responsibility to safeguard life and protect the most innocent among us.” The conservative clerics welcome what it calls a “historic reversal, which affirms the right to life of an unborn child and we pledge to do all that is possible to support pregnant women who face serious challenges.”

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The conference acknowledged that the nation is deeply divided. “Acts of violence and other hateful actions will only make it more difficult for constructive discourse,” the conference wrote in a statement shortly after the release of the decision. “It is time for reconciliation as we support a culture of life together. In that spirit centers, our parishes and our social programs must be prepared to meet the increasing needs for pro-life pregnancy resource and supports for women raising children.”

The ruling allows states the power to support or ban abortions. Reproduction rights were codified in Connecticut law about 30 years ago, and during this past legislative session, rights were expanded to protect women seeking abortions from another state – and the medical personnel who treat them – protections from civil and criminal liability from outside Connecticut.

“In overturning Roe, the court strips women of the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions and puts that power in the hands of the government,” said US Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “A woman no longer has the right to decide when and whether to bear children. In fact, if (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell is in charge, he’ll be leading a national ban on abortion, shredding laws in Connecticut and other states protecting women’s choice.”

Blumenthal said that the government should not be allowed to intrude on the rights of women. “The government should not be able to impose a forced pregnancy on anyone – especially a pregnancy that is the result of abuse or rape or threatens their life.”

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“I wish I was shocked, but I sadly am not,” said US Rep. Rosa DeLauro in a statement shortly after the court announcement.

“This conservative activist Supreme Court that lambasts decisions it does not like as judicial activism has made a dangerous move, disregarding science and decades of legal precedent to strip away a woman’s fundamental and constitutional right to make her own health care decisions,” DeLauro said. “Make no mistake, this decision puts women’s lives at risk. The decision to terminate a pregnancy, for whatever reason, is an immensely personal decision that can only be made by a woman after receiving counsel from her doctor and whoever else she chooses.”

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