Only One Blue State Is Fully Preparing for the Next Phase of the Abortion Wars

Republican legislators are already plotting to punish reproductive health providers across state lines. Connecticut has a plan to fight back.

APRIL 20, 2022

At least 26 states will ban most or all abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer, as it appears poised to do. Many blue states have strengthened abortion rights in the run-up to Roe’s potential demise. But few are planning for red states’ campaign to punish abortion providers and patients in places where it remains legal.

Connecticut, however, will not be caught off guard. On Tuesday, the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill spearheaded by Rep. Matt Blumenthal that would transform Connecticut into a sanctuary for legal abortion. The measure, H.B. 5414, bars state courts from enforcing another state’s penalties against someone who performed or facilitated an abortion that’s legal in Connecticut. It allows people sued under vigilante abortion bans, like Texas’ S.B. 8, to countersue in Connecticut court, collecting both damages and attorneys’ fees if they prevail. And it broadly prohibits state authorities from complying with another state’s request to investigate, penalize, or extradite individuals for providing or facilitating reproductive health services.