Connecticut launches abortion hotline as state prepares for more out-of-state patients
Connecticut is now making it easier for out-of-state patients traveling here for an abortion. On Friday, the state launched a new website and a phone hotline showing patients where to get the procedure -- and even how to get insurance coverage, transportation and financial help.
The new hotline is (866) CT-CHOICE. It will be staffed by an outside vendor.
"Whether you live in a state where abortion remains legal or whether you live in a state where that right is under attack and is being stripped away, you can call this Connecticut hotline or you can go to this Connecticut website, and you can get information about how to access a safe and legal abortion,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin at a morning news conference.
As more states outlaw abortion, Connecticut is pitching itself as a "safe harbor."
"If you are a woman in America that needs an abortion, come to Connecticut,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
Gov. Ned Lamont used the announcement to take a swing at one Republican running for U.S. Senate. Leora Levy just received former President Trump's endorsement Thursday night.
"Leora Levy would go down to Washington, D.C. and join Mitch McConnell to outlaw that choice,” said Lamont.
Levy, a former Wall Street trader and veteran GOP fundraiser from Greenwich, is vocally opposed to abortion. But Levy won’t say if she would support a national ban.
"I'm not going to speculate on something that isn't the case. It hasn't been proposed,” she said. “I am personally pro-life. I recognize exceptions for life of the mother, rape and incest."
Republicans will pick their candidate in a primary on Tuesday.
Levy's main opponent, veteran state lawmaker Themis Klarides, supports abortion rights. News 12 Connecticut asked her about the issue this week:
News 12 Connecticut: "But how do you stop Mitch McConnell from going ahead with a national abortion ban?"
Klarides: "Well, I don't vote for it.
Lamont’s Republican opponent, Bob Stefanowski, donated the maximum allowed $5,800 dollars to Levy, but he insists Connecticut's abortion law is safe.
"Roe v. Wade is codified into Connecticut law,” Stefanowski said on a recent edition of Power and Politics. “I've consistently, consistently, said I'm not going to change that."
Stefanowski does support a parental notification law for minors under 16. Lamont opposes the idea.
Connecticut just expanded who can offer abortions. The new act also shields patients and providers from out-of-state legal action, although some doctors are still fearful of seeing patients from states where abortion is now criminalized.
Friday, state attorney general William Tong said legal help will be available.
“There’s a national effort to coordinate pro-bono legal assistance for women and patients – and doctors,” he said. “We’re putting that together as a coalition of states and attorneys general.”