Connecticut Is An abortion “Safe Harbor,” But Oregon Has The Most Protection

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In Connecticut, abortion remains legal after Roe v. Wade was overturned, but there are states that still provide more protection for access to abortion. One of those states is Oregon which is deemed the “Most Protective” state, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Oregon offers abortion without any restrictions based on the gestational age, which is not the same for certain states such as Idaho, Arizona and Utah. In states such as Connecticut, the cutoff for obtaining an abortion is the gestational age of 24 to 26 weeks where there is fetal viability. This means that the fetus can live on its own without help from the womb.

Abortions are covered by Medicaid in Connecticut, but private insurers are not required to offer the coverage. That’s not the case in Oregon where private insurance and Medicaid are required to cover the medical procedure.

In Oregon, there is a special fund available for people who don’t have insurance. According to Oregon’s Northwest Abortion Access Fund, U.S citizens who have been legal residents for more than five years qualify for the special funds. However, undocumented immigrants who have been legal residents for less than five years do not qualify.

Lesley Lachman Photo.

Melissa Santos

Though some may not qualify for Medicaid, those residents can still get free coverage under the Oregon Reproductive Health Equity Act of 2017; the act provides coverage for women to have free access to healthcare services. It also requires insurance plans to cover contraception, postpartum care, screening for sexually transmitted infections and reproductive cancers.

Along with providing various strategies for women to have a free health care services, Oregon also ensures protection under the law for patients and abortion clinic staff.

The Guttmacher Institute statistics report that in 2017, there were 9,640 abortions in Oregon though not all abortions were provided to state residents. Some patients may have traveled from other states, and some Oregon residents may have traveled to another state for an abortion.

One in 10 American women traveled out-of-state for abortions between 2017 and 2020, Guttmacher reported.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont in June signed legislation codifying Roe as law. Lamont said in press release about the Supreme Court’s decision, “The ruling will not only result in in a patchwork of unequal laws among the states, but more importantly, it will result in dangerous and life-threatening situations similar to what this country witnessed countless times in the era prior to the landmark Roe case in which women died or were left severely injured because they could not access the medical care that they should have every right to access on their own.”

Abortion clinics were created to provide women a safe way to have the procedure.

Guttmacher Institute researchers Isaac Maddow-Zimet and Kathryn Kost reported that in 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the United States, an 8% increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017.

Melissa Santos is a student at Joseph A. Foran High School, Milford.

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