Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Connecticut) gathered at the Lyceum Center in Hartford with abortion advocates on Tuesday to promise abortion rights will continue in the state regardless of any forthcoming decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“The right to choose is under attack in numerous states across America,” Lamont declared, flanked by representatives of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. “We won’t let that happen in Connecticut.”

His statement doubles down on proclamations he made last autumn encouraging culturally progressive business owners in states working to restrict abortions to economically protest such policies by moving to the Constitution state. 

The reversal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across America, appears to be a real possibility as the court considers the constitutionality of Mississippi abortion restrictions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A decision in that case is expected this month. 

Connecticut’s Democratic state lawmakers, led by State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly), have rallied behind a proposed amendment to the state Constitution stipulating that abortions shall remain lawful irrespective of Roe’s fate. Flexer’s move was inspired by a similar constitutional-amendment effort in Vermont. The Connecticut amendment has been moved out of committee and awaits approval by the state House of Representatives and Senate. 

When the District of Columbia is included as a state, Connecticut ranks ninth among all states in terms of its abortion rate. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 13.7 of every 1,000 Connecticut women between the ages of 15 and 44 deliberately ended their pregnancies in 2019, the last year for which statistics are available. D.C. has the highest abortion rate, followed by New York, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina. 

According to the pro-life Connecticut Catholic Conference, 15 abortion clinics were licensed to operate in the state as of November 2021. Eleven of them induce abortion only through orally administered substances whereas five facilities perform surgical abortions. Planned Parenthood runs all of the 16 clinics except for the Hartford GYN Center, which performs surgical abortions. 

Since 2008, seven in-state abortion facilities have closed. And, despite the rate of abortion being high in Connecticut relative to other states, pro-lifers have found trends generally encouraging since that time, the conference’s most recent report shows.

Over the last decade, abortions in Connecticut have declined by nearly one-third and by 37 percent since peaking at 14,534 in 2007. The decrease has been even more pronounced among teenagers who have had 64 percent fewer abortions since 2010 and 75 percent fewer abortions since 2000. 

– – –

Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Connecticut Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ned Lamont” by Ned Lamont.