Conn. Democratic Leaders Oppose Federal Abortion Ban Proposal

Following recent bills introducing abortion restrictions, state leaders say they're committed to keeping abortion safe and legal in Connecticut.

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After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the conversation was about states setting their own abortion laws. Now, there is talk of a nationwide abortion ban.

Some Republican senators have backed a bill that would further limit access to an abortion, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who on Tuesday, proposed a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks.

But Connecticut Democratic leaders say they're committed to keeping abortion safe and legal in Connecticut.  

"There is no basis under law, no constitutional basis for a federal national ban on abortion. I challenge anybody to find me one," said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

Republican candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski said in statement:

"The right to an abortion is codified in Connecticut state law and will remain so when I am governor. Furthermore, I vehemently oppose any proposed federal ban on abortion that would seek to supersede our state law. Period. End of story." 

But state leaders say they want him to publicly oppose anti-abortion legislation and acknowledge that it puts Connecticut's protections at risk.

"I've said many times, we are not fine. We're not even close to fine. My wife, my sisters, my daughters, my mother are less free, less safe, less secure than they were in June," said Tong.

According to Dr. Nancy Stanwood, Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Connecticut continues to be a safe haven for women across the country. But a national ban, such as what Graham is proposing, would undo that. 

"The other week, I cared for somebody from Texas. I cared for somebody who traveled from Georgia, Indiana. I am witnessing people having to travel hundreds of miles from their home states to receive timely essential healthcare," said Stanwood. The sadder piece is those people were the lucky ones to have the means and support to make this journey."

The conversation comes just 54 days before voters cast their ballots in the midterm election on November 8.

"When I think about the patient who had to travel here from Indiana, she wouldn't be able to travel to Connecticut. She would have to travel to Canada or Mexico. An even more arduous journey that involves international travel," said Stanwood. "So, a federal abortion ban would mean that no state, including Connecticut, would be spared the impact of these draconian bans on essential medical care. It's an incredibly scary thought."

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