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Protection Against Clinic Violence

Any person who engages in the use of force or threat for the purpose of depriving a person of equal protection of Connecticut or federal laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under Connecticut or federal laws, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If bodily injury or death results, the person is guilty of a felony.  Any aggrieved person may seek injunctive relief, damages, and other equitable and just relief.  Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 52-571a, 53-37b (Enacted 1993).

This law's legislative history demonstrates that it was designed to protect clinic access.  As the law's sponsor, state Sen. George Jepsen, testified, "Twenty years after Roe vs. Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court, . . . . abortion remains a fundamental right under the law of our land . . . . Unfortunately, as opponents of choice have grown more desperate in the last few years, some, not all, some in the minority have resorted to clearly illegal tactics, systematic, even para-military attempts to shut down on a regular basis abortion clinics across our country. . . . [This law] protects the legitimate constitutional rights of women who seek nothing more than to exercise their right to choose."  Statements on Senate Floor Concerning S.B. 1046 (June 2, 1993), at (last visited Sept. 25, 2007).

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