Saturday, July 2, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

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SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

CT Gov Signs Law Protecting Medical Providers, Patients Seeking Abortion Care

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022   

Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut lawmakers held a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday for a new law protecting doctors who provide and patients who seek abortion care in the state.

The signing of the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act comes after last week's leaked draft opinion indicated the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the decision in Roe v. Wade.

The new Connecticut law protects in-state medical providers from legal action connected to abortion restrictions in other states as well as people coming from a state with abortion restrictions seeking care.

Lamont said abortion is a fundamental freedom being challenged by the Supreme Court.

"You decide when you're ready to be pregnant, when you're ready to have that baby," Lamont asserted. "We are doing everything we can to stand up on behalf of the reproductive rights of all of our citizens. I hope this is a template and example for other states around the country."

Legislators noted the law is the first of its kind in the nation to legally protect health professionals and patients in abortion care. The Supreme Court decision will not be finalized until it is officially published, most likely in the next two months.

Rep. Jillian Gilchrist, D-West Hartford, who co-chairs the Reproductive Rights Caucus and is a sponsor of the bill, said she is glad Connecticut can be a light during a dark time for the country in the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion.

"Access to abortion protects our bodily autonomy," Gilchrist contended. "Those of us in Connecticut will continue to fight to ensure that access to abortion isn't dependent on your income, on your race, and certainly not on your ZIP code."

The Connecticut law also allows some advanced practitioners to provide abortion care. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Majority Leader, said there will be a vote this week on the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade, although it is unlikely the bill will receive enough votes to pass. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is one of its lead sponsors.


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