Governor Ned Lamont today joined a coalition of 17 governors in calling for the U.S. Congress to take immediate action to protect reproductive rights and access to abortion. In a letter to Congressional leaders, the governors called for Congress to work quickly to pass legislation to codify the rights and protections prescribed in Roe v. Wade.
Specifically, the 17 governors called upon the Senate to pass S.1975, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal and co-sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy. Last year, the House passed its version of the bill (H.R. 3755) with the support of Connecticut’s entire House delegation.
The letter comes as a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization revealed yesterday that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe, a ruling that established a constitutional right Americans have recognized and depended upon for nearly 50 years.
Full text of letter below:
May 3, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer Majority Leader
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell Minority Leader
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell:
We write today to urge you to take immediate action to protect reproductive rights across the nation. In light of disturbing reports regarding a draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization revealing the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade – which has long guaranteed rights Americans have relied upon for almost half a century – it is imperative that Congress acts swiftly to ensure that all Americans continue to have meaningful access to reproductive healthcare and abortion.
Reproductive healthcare decisions are deeply personal and should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians. Despite the widespread support for reproductive freedom, in many states across the nation, a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs that reflects the draft opinion would immediately limit access to reproductive healthcare and, in some states, could even criminalize abortion, ending constitutional rights that have been recognized for nearly 50 years.
Physicians take an oath to provide medically accurate information to ensure their patients can make informed decisions about their reproductive health and their healthcare, and patients should have the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions based on that information. Indeed, the vast majority of Americans agree that these decisions should be in the hands of patients, who can consult with their doctors, families, and faith.
On Sept. 24, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755 and S. 1975). The U.S. Senate has announced they will hold a vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion in law. We, the undersigned governors, call on honorable members of the Senate from both parties to pass this measure and for Congress to immediately take other steps needed to codify the protections prescribed in Roe v. Wade.
The consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade for millions across the nation cannot be overstated. Our collective responsibility to defend access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, has never been more important. Overturning Roe will turn back the clock on reproductive health, and Congress must immediately take action to ensure that our nation does not go backward and that the rights of all Americans to access reproductive healthcare and abortion continue to be protected.
Governor of Wisconsin
Governor of California
Governor of Colorado
Governor of Connecticut
Governor of Illinois
Governor of Michigan
Governor of Minnesota
Governor of Nevada
Governor of New Jersey
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Governor of New Mexico
Governor of New York
Governor of North Carolina
Governor of Oregon
Governor of Pennsylvania
Governor of Rhode Island
Governor of the Virgin Islands
Governor of Washington