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Abortion-Care Policies

Abortion Providers

Abortion Providers: Restrictions

Connecticut imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Connecticut places medically unnecessary restrictions on where abortion services may be provided.

The state, without reference to medical necessity, requires outpatient clinics that are operated by corporations or municipalities and that provide abortion services (at any stage of pregnancy) to have a standard operating room.  Conn. Agencies Regs. §19-13-D54(d)(9).

Clinics must hire counselors who have or who are supervised by a person with a graduate degree or training in social work, psychology, counseling, nursing, or ministry.  Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 19a-116 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1995); Conn. Agencies Regs. § 19a-116-1(d).

Among the most common TRAP regulations are those restricting the provision of abortion services to hospitals or other specialized facilities, which require doctors to obtain medically unnecessary additional licenses, needlessly convert their practices to mini-hospitals at great expense, or provide abortion services only in hospitals, an impossibility in many parts of the country.

Connecticut requires that all abortions after the second trimester be provided in a hospital.  Conn. Agencies Regs. § 19-13-D54 (c).

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Connecticut prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state may provide abortion services.  Conn. Agencies Regs. § 19-13-D54(a) (Enacted 1974; Last Amended 2005).


 

Abortion Providers: Expanded Access to Non-Surgical Abortion

The Connecticut attorney general has issued an opinion concluding that this regulation applies only to surgical abortion and that advanced practice registered nurses, licensed nurse-midwives, and physician’s assistants who are licensed in Connecticut may, in accordance with the statutory requirements and conditions governing their practices, provide mifepristone in a licensed clinic as long as they are acting under the supervision of a physician who is a “qualified physician,” as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Conn. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 2001-003 (Feb. 7, 2001). The Connecticut attorney general has also issued an opinion stating that, under Connecticut law, such clinicians may prescribe mifepristone.  Conn. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 2001-015 (July 2, 2001).


 

Abortion Rights

Protections: Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)

Connecticut has created additional protections for reproductive rights by adding an affirmative right to choose into its state law.  This law ensures women’s access to pre-viability abortion services and would remain in effect even if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

“The 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.”  Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 19a-602(a) (Enacted 1990).


Protections: State Consitutional Protection

The Connecticut Constitution protects the right to choose as a fundamental right and to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  A court struck down under the state constitution a regulation limiting state medical assistance for abortion in cases of life endangerment without extending coverage to medically necessary abortion services.  Doe v. Maher, 515 A.2d 134 (Conn. Super. Ct. 1986).  A similar restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).


Post-Viability Ban

Connecticut’s post-viability restriction states that no abortion may be provided after viability unless necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health.  Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 19a-602(b) (Enacted 1990).

NARAL Pro-Choice America supports the legal framework established in Roe v. Wadeand does not oppose restrictions on post-viability abortion, such as Connecticut’s, that contain adequate exceptions to protect the woman’s life and health.


 

Biased Counseling

No state measure.

Mandatory Delays

No state measure.

Insurance Coverage & Abortion

No state measure.

Low-Income Women & Abortion

Supports Low-Income Women’s Access to Abortion

Connecticut allows women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care to obtain public funds for abortion.  Conn. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., Conn. Medical Assistance Program, Physician Provider Manual (Aug. 2013). See also Conn. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 1998-022 (Nov. 16, 1998).

A court held that a policy restricting the state medical assistance program from covering medically necessary abortion services except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest violates the Connecticut constitution by providing coverage for other medically necessary services, but not abortion.  Doe v. Maher, 515 A.2d 134 (Conn. Super. Ct. 1986).


Young Women & Abortion

No state measure.

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