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State Laws

Connecticut


Political Information

Executive (Governor)

Pro-choice

Senate

Pro-choice

House

Pro-choice

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©.

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).


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. Wade. Regarding the right to abortion in the third trimester, Roe allows for restrictions on post-viability abortion so long as they contain adequate exceptions to protect the woman’s life and health. However, many states have bans with inadequate exceptions, no exceptions at all, or define viability as occurring at a particular point in pregnancy. A state may not prohibit abortion prior to viability, which is that point at which a fetus is capable of "meaningful life" outside a woman’s body. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 163 (1973). Because viability is a point that varies with each pregnancy, states may not declare that it occurs at a particular gestational age. NARAL Pro-Choice America 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 for Abortion

No state measure.

Abortion Coverage for Low-Income People

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 People & Abortion

No state measure.

Family-Planning Policies

Insurance Coverage & Contraception

Supports Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Connecticut law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception.

What is required?  If a health-insurance plan provides coverage for outpatient prescription medication, it must provide coverage for Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription contraception.

To which insurance plans does the law apply?  Individual and group health-insurance policies issued or renewed on or after October 1, 1999 that provide coverage for outpatient prescription medication.

Does the law contain a refusal clause, allowing certain employers and/or insurers to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage?  Yes.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Religious employers for whom prescription contraception is contrary to their bona fide religious tenets, as well as insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Upon a religious employer’s request, an insurance provider may issue to a religious employer a plan that excludes coverage for contraception.  In addition, insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage may provide for coverage of prescription contraception through another entity offering a limited benefit plan, provided that the coverage has the same cost, terms, and availability as other prescription coverage offered to the insured.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women?  Yes.  The law defines the term "religious employer" as a church-controlled or church-affiliated organization.  This definition inappropriately includes entities that operate in the public sphere.

Does the law require that the persons affected by the refusal be notified?  Yes.  A health-insurance policy that excludes coverage for prescription contraception due to an employer’s religious refusal must provide the insured or prospective insured with written notice of the exclusion.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  A refusal clause may not be used to exclude coverage for prescription contraception ordered for reasons other than contraceptive purposes.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer and/or insurer exercises a refusal clause?  No.

May an individual obtain a health-insurance policy that excludes contraceptive coverage?  Yes.  An individual who states in writing that contraception is contrary to his/her religious or moral beliefs may obtain a health-insurance policy from their insurer that excludes coverage for contraception.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 38a-503e, -530e (Enacted 1999).


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Connecticut law builds upon federal law by requiring that insurers cover all unique therapeutic products for contraception without cost-sharing, including contraceptive drugs available over the counter without a prescription.  If a prescriber deems a certain contraceptive drug or device medically necessary for a patient, the insurer must cover it. Insurers must also cover patient education and counseling on contraception, and related services, such as device insertion and removal.

The law applies to individual and group health-insurance plans issued, delivered, amended, renewed, or continued in the state on or after January 19, 2019.

The law contains a refusal clause that permits religious employers for whom contraception is contrary to their bona fide religious tenets, as well as insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage.

Upon a religious employer’s request, an insurance provider may issue to a religious employer a plan that excludes coverage for contraception.  In addition, insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage may provide for coverage of prescription contraception through another entity offering a limited benefit plan, provided that the coverage has the same cost, terms, and availability as other prescription coverage offered to the insured.

The refusal clause is overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women.  The law defines the term "religious employer" as a church-controlled or church-affiliated organization.  This definition inappropriately includes entities that operate in the public sphere.

A health-insurance policy that excludes coverage for prescription contraception due to an employer’s religious refusal must provide the insured or prospective insured with written notice of the exclusion.

A refusal clause may not be used to exclude coverage for prescription contraception ordered for reasons other than contraceptive purposes.

 An individual who states in writing that contraception is contrary to his/her religious or moral beliefs may obtain a health-insurance policy from their insurer that excludes coverage for contraception.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 38a-503e, -530e (2018).


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Connecticut prohibits most insurers from imposing any cost-sharing on all unique FDA-approved contraceptive products.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 38a-503e, -530e (2018).


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Connecticut law requires health-insurance plans to cover dispensing of a 12-month supply of prescription contraceptives.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 38a-503e, -530e (2018).


Contraception Coverage for Low-Income People

Supports Low-Income Women’s Access to Contraception

Connecticut provides increased access to reproductive-health-care services through a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to its Medicaid program.  The SPA allows the state to cover family-planning services for women and men with family incomes at or below 263 percent of the federal poverty level who are not currently enrolled in Medicaid and do not have any other health insurance.  Additionally, enrollees must be (1) U.S. citizens or persons who meet the state’s defined immigration requirements and (2) Connecticut residents.

Beneficiaries of family-planning coverage available through the SPA are not required to pay premiums or co-payments for covered services.  Covered services include: all FDA-approved birth-control methods, devices and supplies; a comprehensive reproductive-health history, physical examination, and pap smear; emergency services directly related to the contraceptive method and follow-up; pregnancy testing and counseling; prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; HIV testing and counseling; male and female sterilization; reproductive-health education and counseling.

Connecticut State Plan Amendment, 12-009, Family Planning Services. Modified income eligibility.  CT Husky Health Limited Benefit Member Letter.


Emergency Contraception

EC in the ER

Connecticut law ensures that sexual-assault survivors receive access to emergency contraception (EC) in hospital emergency rooms.  As part of the minimum standards for the examination and treatment of a sexual-assault survivor, a physician or other health-care provider must provide a sexual-assault survivor with medically and factually accurate information about EC, offer her EC, and provide EC to her upon request.  Hospitals are allowed to administer pregnancy tests and if the test is positive, the hospital does not have to provide the woman with EC.  

Hospitals are also allowed to contract with an "independent provider" defined as a physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse or registered nurse, or a nurse-midwife to ensure compliance with the law.  Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann § 19a-112e (Enacted 2007).


Other Important Issues

Clinic Protections

Clinic Protections

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 http://search.cga.state.ct.us (last visited Sept. 25, 2007).


Refusals & Guarantees

Refusals of Medical Care

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Connecticut allows individuals to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Individuals.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Allows individuals to refuse to participate in any phase of an abortion against his or her judgment or philosophical, moral, or religious beliefs.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Conn. Agencies Regs § 19-13-D54 (Enacted 1974; Last Amended 2005).

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Although Connecticut law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception, certain employers and/or insurers may require that their plans exclude coverage for contraception.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Religious employers for whom prescription contraceptive methods are contrary to their bona fide religious tenets, as well as insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Upon a religious employer’s request, an insurance provider may issue to a religious employer a plan that excludes coverage for contraception.  In addition, insurance providers owned, operated, or substantially controlled by a religious organization that has religious or moral tenets that conflict with contraceptive coverage may provide for coverage of prescription contraceptive methods through another entity offering a limited benefit plan, provided that the coverage has the same cost, terms, and availability as other prescription coverage offered to the insured.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women?  Yes.  The law broadly defines the term "religious employer" as a church-controlled or church-affiliated organization.  This broad definition inappropriately includes entities that operate in the public sphere.

Does the law require that the persons affected by the refusal be notified?  Yes.  A health-insurance policy that excludes coverage for prescription contraceptive methods due to an employer’s religious refusal must provide the insured or prospective insured with written notice of the exclusion.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  A refusal clause may not be used to exclude coverage for prescription contraceptive methods ordered for reasons other than contraceptive purposes.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer and/or insurer exercises a refusal clause?  No.

May an individual obtain a health-insurance policy that excludes contraceptive coverage?  Yes.  An individual who states in writing that prescription contraceptive methods are contrary to the individual’s religious or moral beliefs may obtain a health-insurance policy from their insurer that excludes coverage for contraception.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 38a-503e, -530e (Enacted 1999).


Counseling & Referral Bans

No state measure.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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