Connecticut law evinces a profound disrespect for human life, providing for a broad state constitutional “right” to abortion, failing to adequately protect unborn victims of violence, and permitting cloning-for-biomedical-research and destructive embryo research.
- The Connecticut Supreme Court has determined that the state constitution protects the “right” to an abortion as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.
- The state maintains a Freedom of Choice Act. The Act mandates a legal right to abortion even if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned, specifically providing that “[t]he decision to terminate a pregnancy prior to the viability of the fetus shall be solely that of the pregnant woman in consultation with her physician.”
- Connecticut law requires that all women considering abortion receive counseling on the type of abortion procedure to be used and the discomfort and risks involved in that procedure.
- In addition to counseling on the type of abortion procedure and its inherent risks, minors must also receive information on the alternatives to abortion and public and private agencies that can provide them with assistance. Further, a qualified counselor must discuss the possibility of the minor involving a parent or other adult in her decision.
- Connecticut mandates that abortion clinics meet rudimentary health and safety standards. The regulations prescribe minimum standards for the building or facility, patient medical testing, and the maintenance of patient records.
- Connecticut limits the performance of abortions to licensed physicians.
- The state has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The measure pertains to both surgical and nonsurgical abortions and requires abortion providers to report short-term complications.
- (a) Connecticut taxpayers are required by court order to fund “medically necessary” abortions for women eligible for public assistance. This requirement essentially equates to funding abortion-on-demand in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of “health” in the context of abortion.
- (b) Connecticut offers “Choose Life” license plates, the proceeds of which benefit pregnancy resource centers and/or other organizations providing abortion alternatives.
Legal Recognition and Protection of Unborn and Newly Born:
- Connecticut defines an assault on a pregnant woman resulting in “the termination of pregnancy that does not result in live birth” as a crime. The law recognizes an affirmative defense if the defendant did not know that the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault.
- Connecticut allows a parents or other relative to bring a wrongful death (civil) lawsuit when a viable unborn child is killed through the negligent or criminal act of another.
- The state funds drug treatment programs for pregnant women and newborns
- Connecticut prohibits cloning-to-produce-children. However, it permits destructive embryo research and cloning-for-biomedical-research and funds these destructive and unethical practices.
- The state does not prohibit fetal experimentation.
- Connecticut requires that a physician provide a woman in the last trimester of pregnancy with information regarding options to bank or donate umbilical cord blood. The Connecticut Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Board has been directed to engage in public education and establish an umbilical cord blood collection program.
- Connecticut regulates assisted reproductive technologies. For example, only persons certified to practice medicine in the state may perform artificial insemination.
- The state prohibits direct or indirect payment for the donation of human eggs for stem cell research.
End of Life Laws:
- Connecticut has enacted a statutory prohibition on assisted suicide. Assisting a suicide constitutes manslaughter.
Healthcare Freedom of Conscience:
Participation in Abortion and Contraception:
- Under Connecticut law, no person is required to participate in any phase of an abortion against his or her judgment or religious, moral, or philosophical beliefs.
- Health insurance plans that provide prescription coverage must also provide coverage for contraception. Certain conscience exemptions apply to religious employers or organizations.
Participation in Research Harmful to Human Life:
- Connecticut currently provides no protection for the rights of healthcare providers who conscientiously object to participation in human cloning, destructive embryo research, or other forms of medical research, which violate a provider’s moral or religious belief.
What Happened in 2013:
- Connecticut enacted a measure modifying the criminal penalty for violating the state’s prohibition on cloning-to-produce-children. The state also considered measures funding unethical research and providing insurance coverage for assisted reproductive technologies.
- The state established an advisory council on palliative care.
- Connecticut considered a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Recommendations for Connecticut
Women’s Protection Project Priorities:
- Women’s Health Defense Act (5-month abortion limitation)
- Women’s Right to Know Act with reflection period
- Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act
- Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act
- Parental Notification for Abortion Act
- Child Protection Act
- Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act
- State Constitutional Amendment (providing that there is no state constitutional right to abortion)
- Repeal of State FOCA
- Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act
- Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act
- Coercive Abuse Against Mothers Prevention Act
- Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act
- Joint Resolution Commending Pregnancy Resource Centers
Legal Recognition and Protection for the Unborn:
- Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act
- Unborn Wrongful Death Act (for pre-viable child)
- Born-Alive Infant Protection Act
- Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act
- Repeal of existing laws permitting human cloning, destructive embryo research, and the funding of these practices
Healthcare Freedom of Conscience:
- Healthcare Freedom of Conscience Act