June 25, 2024

Repercussions on the Two Year Anniversary of Conservatives Killing Roe

Last week, Connecticut Democrats solemnly observed the two-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s hand-picked conservative U.S. Supreme Court overturning half a century of Constitutional precedent when the court decided on June 24, 2022 in Dobbs vs. Jackson’s Woman’s Health that, no – there is no Constitutional right or freedom that guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion.

Democrats and women’s health advocates took the opportunity on the two-year anniversary of that horrific Supreme Court decision to remind Connecticut residents that  Democrats will always fight to ensure that abortion and other types of reproductive health care – whether it be access to birth control, in-vitro fertilization, or over-the-counter chemical abortion methods – remain legal and safe in Connecticut, even as far-right Republican state legislatures across the country eliminate women’s health care options and put women’s lives at risk.

“Since the Dobbs decision we’ve seen coordinated attacks in legislatures and courts around the country,” Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said at a press conference held in the State Capitol. “Today, approximately 22 million of reproductive age – that’s one in three women – are living in states where abortion is either unavailable or severely restricted.”

“There is a war on women from the right-wing fringe. It’s MAGA extremism – let’s call it what it is,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “Connecticut is very, very fortunate to have strong protections for women’s reproductive rights, but the rest of the country – most of the other states – are at the mercy of the political winds and the assaults that are now threatening women’s health care. And that’s why we need strong federal protections.”

Source: The Guttmacher Institute

On the same day that Connecticut Democrats were warning about the dangerous consequences of right-wing Republican restrictions on abortion, an analysis by Johns Hopkins researchers showed that Texas’s 2021 abortion ban was linked to a 12.9% rate of infant and newborn deaths in 2022 – six times higher than the national average of 1.8%.

Among causes of deaths, birth defects showed a 23% increase, compared to a decrease of about 3% in the rest of the U.S. The Texas law blocks abortions after the detection of cardiac activity, usually five or six weeks into pregnancy, well before tests are done to detect fetal abnormalities.

“I think these findings make clear the potentially devastating consequences that abortion bans can have,” co-author Suzanne Bell, a fertility researcher, told NBC News.

Another study published in January 2024 in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that Texas led the nation in rapes and rape-related pregnancies, with an estimated 26,313 rape-related pregnancies occurring in Texas in the first 16 months after conservative Republican Texas legislators banned abortion in the state.

At the same time, teen pregnancies that had dropped 67% in Texas since 2007 – in large part due to easy access to contraception and the morning-after pill called Plan B – suddenly rose by one-half of one percent.

“Over the course of the past two years, anti-abortion extremists have waged an all-out war on bodily autonomy, banning abortion in 21 states, criminalizing patients and providers, and forcing people across our country to carry life-threatening pregnancies to term,” Liz Gustafson, Connecticut State Director for Reproductive Equity Now, said at the Democrats’ State Capitol press conference. “But here in Connecticut we’ve stood up to this devastating extremism with bold and proactive action. Here in Connecticut, we have gone on offense.”

Connecticut law guarantees the right to abortion care up until 24 weeks of pregnancy. You do not have to be from Connecticut to receive abortion and other reproductive health care here, and you can speak confidentially to a provider about the options available for your care.

Just last year, Connecticut passed yet another in a series of health-care protections for women, including:

-Protecting licensed medical providers in Connecticut from any adverse actions taken by another state as a result of a provider’s involvement in otherwise legal and competent reproductive health care services.

-Allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

-Increasing access to reproductive care by college students at public institutions of higher education.

-Protecting the privacy of patient health data online by preventing GPS tracking devices, and apps that keep track of a person’s health information.