June 24, 2022— The U.S. Supreme Court has done the unthinkable: overturning Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion in our country. This decision takes away the right to control our bodies and personal health care decisions, giving it to politicians and leaving millions of people without access to safe, legal abortion.
Now there is nothing to stop politicians and states across the country from banning abortion outright and denying people access to essential health care. This decision has an immediate, terrifying impact — overnight, millions have lost the right to abortion and countless more will face insurmountable barriers to get the abortion care they need and deserve.
Already, the right to abortion alone did not guarantee access; now, for the first time, the court has stripped us of a constitutional right, forcing people to travel out of state, seek alternative options for care, or carry a pregnancy to term against their will. The consequences of this devastating decision will fall largely on people who already face the greatest barriers to health care due to this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural areas and worsen existing health disparities and inequities.
Our champions in Connecticut understood the reality of this moment and took action to protect and expand abortion access in our state. The Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, passed by the General Assembly this year and signed into law by Governor Lamont, updates Connecticut’s abortion law to allow trained, qualified advanced practice clinicians to perform aspiration abortion to serve our residents and anyone traveling to our state to access legal abortion. The law also protects patients and providers from targeted attacks by politicians in other states passing radical, extreme abortion bans — likely a common outcome of this decision.
There is more work to do, and Connecticut must continue to lead. The court has failed us: now, we must ensure our elected officials will fight for reproductive freedom and defend the health and rights of all people in our state.
We heard the powerful words shared by Black women in the General Assembly this session, and we must reckon with the irreparable damage to the health and lives of generations of Black women by the reproductive rights movement and the medical field as we strive to correct them. We must make health care accessible to all people, regardless of how much money you have, what health insurance you use, or your immigration status. And we must continue to fight for economic and racial justice to eliminate barriers to care in Connecticut and build a more equitable state.
This is a devastating decision for our country. Although abortion is still legal in Connecticut, we are not immune to the dangerous new precedent this decision sets. We remain committed to health equity and will be bold and unapologetic in our demands — people need the power to control their own body, life, and future; no matter where they live.
Quote from Gretchen Raffa, Vice President Public Policy, Advocacy & Organizing, Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut:
“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what we do with our bodies, deciding that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course for our own lives. This dangerous, chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the country, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant against their will. Make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control your future. It is a dark day for our country, but this is far from over. We will not compromise on our bodies, our dignity, or our freedom. We will fight back: Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut and our partners were built for this. Together, we won’t stop until everyone has access to abortion — and the care they need.”
Quote from Claudine Constant, Public Policy and Advocacy Director, ACLU of Connecticut:
“Abortion is a human right, and it remains a legal right in Connecticut. Our state still has much more work to do to protect and expand abortion access and reproductive freedom here. Legislators listened to the people by passing one law to protect access in 2022, and every elected official in our state must do more to protect Black maternal health and to make sure that all people in Connecticut who can become pregnant have accessible, affordable reproductive healthcare. People here must donate to abortion funds and tell every one of their legislators that they expect Connecticut to do even more to advance reproductive freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed anti-abortion politicians to rule the day, but they don’t get the final say — we do.”
Quote from Liz Gustafson, State Director, Pro-Choice Connecticut:
“Decades of attacks has left abortion rights hanging by a thread in the United States, and today that thread has been cut by the Supreme Court. People across the U.S. will still need abortion care—but the Supreme Court’s decision will further embolden anti-abortion politicians to push for the nationwide total ban on abortion they’ve wanted all along. Make no mistake, this fight is not just about legality and our rights on paper- this fight is about our collective dignity and our humanity. Abortion funds, providers, clinics, and support networks are here to help anyone who needs access to care, and it is up to every single one of us to keep showing up for them. We believe in a future where each of us can make decisions that are best for our lives, our families, and our futures without facing barriers, political interference or stigma. A future where our abortion stories are heard, uplifted, and respected. Pro-Choice Connecticut will keep fighting alongside our partners and allies until every person, no matter where we live, how much money we make, or what we look like, has the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives and futures.”
Quote from Janée Woods Weber, Executive Director, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF):
“Overturning our right to abortion is more than just a women’s issue- it is a human rights issue, an economic justice issue, and a racial justice issue. We are all impacted, as individuals and as communities, because these issues are interconnected. Having autonomy over our own bodies is fundamental to our ability to design the lives we want, to pursue opportunities and to be able to have the agency to make our own decisions about our physical and mental health, our personal finances and family finances, our work or our education. Alongside our partners in Connecticut, we are committed to building community power to advocate for political and legal change that uplifts, protects and expands the rights of the people to access timely, affordable and high quality abortion care. Abortion remains legal in Connecticut and we will continue to fight for our neighbors, especially women of color and women with low income, who are under attack in their home states. We will never achieve gender equity until every person who can become pregnant has control over their own body and future.”
Quote from Roxanne Sutocky, Director of Community Engagement, The Women’s Centers
“Hartford GYN Center has cared for people seeking abortions in Connecticut for decades and we aren’t backing down now. We stand in solidarity with those in states preparing to ban abortions and we commit to providing excellent care to everyone who walks through our doors. We are outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, but we know that abortion rights have never been enough to ensure equitable access to care for all. Those harmed the most by systemic oppression and reproductive coercion- women, Black, Indigenous & other people of color, the LGBTQI+ community, immigrants, young people, those working to make ends meet and people with disabilities – face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, even here in Connecticut. To all those who need us, please know, abortion remains legal in Connecticut, and we are here for you. To our neighbors, many of whom have benefitted from access to abortion care, we urge you to take action: support your local abortion provider and abortion funds, volunteer your time and talents, and urge your lawmakers to protect and expand abortion access.”
Members of the Connecticut Coalition for Choice include: ACLU-Connecticut, AAUW, American College of Nurse-Midwives Connecticut Affiliate (ACNM-CT), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) CT Chapter, Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity, & Opportunity, CT NOW, CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Connecticut Public Health Association (CPHA), CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), Hartford GYN Center, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), Health Equity Solutions, League of Women Voters of CT, Pro-Choice Connecticut, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) CT Chapter, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, and Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.