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As the Supreme Court reviews Roe v. Wade, Connecticut advocates urge passage of women's health law

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
J. Scott Applewhite
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Connecticut advocates and lawmakers urged the U.S. Senate on Monday to vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. The bill would guarantee equal access to abortion nationwide.

The vote comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision this spring that could overturn Roe v. Wade, which has supported access to safe reproductive care since 1973.

Amanda Skinner, president of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said Monday’s vote doesn’t end the fight for women’s reproductive rights.

“We’ve seen politicians across the country in Texas, Mississippi, Florida and other states use every dirty policy trick in the book to make abortion almost impossible to access,” Skinner said.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said the bill would codify equal access to abortion into federal law.

“It is about protecting women’s health from the onslaught we have seen, the assault on women’s reproductive care all around the country,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal is concerned the Senate might not have the support of several Republicans to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold. Last September, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the bill, and President Biden supports it.

The nation’s highest court is expected to make a decision on whether a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks is legal in the coming months. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, access to abortions will be up to each state.

A handful of Republican-led states have already created laws that would nearly ban abortions.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.