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Connecticut Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal in Connecticut until fetal viability. Thereafter, abortion is legal only if necessary to preserve the life or health of the patient.

Connecticut does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions found in other states. There's no waiting period or mandated parental involvement, and the state doesn't place a ban on public funds (Medicaid) for most abortion services.

Connecticut Abortion Law After Dobbs

Connecticut abortion laws are among the least restrictive in the nation. Other jurisdictions may set abortion bans before viability and limit who can provide abortion care.

In contrast, the state of Connecticut promotes a broad range of reproductive health care options for its residents. It enacted state law protections for reproductive rights in 1990, largely based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade which created a constitutional right to abortion and legalized it nationwide.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court changed course. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Court reversed Roe, finding it was wrongly decided. As a result, the issue of the legality of abortion returned to the states.

Because Connecticut had already made abortion legal under state law, the overturn of Roe by the Dobbs decision had no impact on Connecticut's abortion laws.

Connecticut and State Law Protections

Connecticut had a hand in one of America's first abortion laws. The earliest anti-abortion laws sought to protect women from untrained abortionists. In 1821, Connecticut lawmakers passed America's first statutory abortion regulation.

Its goal was to protect women from induced abortion via poison administered after the fourth month of pregnancy. Records indicate abortions were often unregulated during the 1800s. The number of deaths caused by complications from illegal and unsafe abortions is impossible to determine.

After the legalization of abortion in Roe, the Connecticut state legislature began to move in the direction of reforming its abortion laws. Its 1990 abortion law left the decision on abortion to the patient in consultation with her physician, at least until fetal viability.

Most definitions of fetal viability place it at 22-24 weeks of pregnancy, near the end of the second trimester.

In 2022, Connecticut amended its law to permit certain advanced practice clinicians to perform abortions and/or oversee abortion care. The new law allows physician assistants, nurse midwives, and advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortion services consistent with their licensing.

The law also provided protections to abortion providers and those seeking abortions in Connecticut from out of state. These actions were in response to pending laws in Texas and other restrictive states that might ban residents from leaving the state for an abortion.

Support for People With Abortion Questions

Connecticut provides helpful resources for those seeking abortion access. Governor Ned Lamont strongly supports reproductive rights. The state provides a webpage devoted to answering questions from the public.

The Connecticut General Assembly has also passed laws that prohibit deceptive or misleading advertising from crisis pregnancy centers. These organizations allegedly offer an alternative to traditional family planning groups such as Planned Parenthood, but crisis pregnancy centers oppose abortion and do not provide referrals for legal abortion services.

Connecticut Abortion Laws at a Glance

The table below lists the basic provisions of Connecticut abortion laws. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Relevant Connecticut Abortion Statutes (Laws)

Connecticut General Statutes, Title 19a, Public Health and Well-Being

Chapter 368Y, Abortion

  • Section 19a-601 - Information and counseling for minors required; medical emergency exception

  • Section 19a-602 - Termination of pregnancy prior to viability; abortion after viability prohibited; exception

Chapter 368lL, Miscellaneous Provisions

Connecticut Agency Regulations

When Is Abortion Legal?

Prior to fetal viability, the decision to terminate a pregnancy belongs solely to the patient in consultation with the patient's physician, advance-practice registered nurse, nurse-midwife, or physician assistant.

After fetal viability, an abortion is legal when necessary to preserve the life or health of the patient.

Consent Requirements

Adult: Public health regulations require standard informed consent procedures for abortion clinics. Consent forms must be signed by patient, interpreter (when appropriate), counselor, and physician.

Minor: Connecticut defines a minor as a patient under 16 years of age. Except in case of medical emergency, a physician or counselor must provide pregnancy information and counseling to a minor prior to an abortion. This includes discussing the possibility of the minor involving the minor's parent(s) or legal guardian.

Availability of Medication Abortion?

Yes. There are no state law restrictions on medication abortion in Connecticut.

Residency Requirement for Patients?


Criminal Penalties for Unlawful Abortion

There are no criminal penalties in state law for unlawful abortion.

Physician Licensing Requirements

Physicians may perform abortions and provide abortion services consistent with their scope of practice and license. Physician's assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse-midwives may perform medication and aspiration abortions consistent with their scope of practice and license.

Note: State laws are constantly changing. Contact a Connecticut attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of any state law(s) you are reviewing.

How Connecticut Compares to Other States

Connecticut abortion laws allow the pregnant patient to make reproductive decisions in consultation with health care providers until fetal viability. At present, over half the states permit abortion up to fetal viability or later under certain circumstances. This includes other New England states like New York, Massachusetts, and Maine.

Some states ban abortion before fetal viability but maintain certain exceptions. For example, in Arizona, abortion is only legal in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy and then in cases of medical emergency. In contrast, restrictive states like Texas ban abortion in all cases except where it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.

A Note About Medication Abortion

For over twenty years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved so-called abortion pills that patients can use early in pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medication abortions accounted for 53% of abortions obtained by women in 2021.

Abortion opponents challenged the FDA approval of one of the abortion medications in court in 2022. The drug mifepristone is part of a two-drug regimen used in medication abortions. The FDA approved the drug in 2000. In 2016 and 2021, the FDA amended its rules related to its prescription and distribution through the mail.

After conflicting rulings in the lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide the matter in 2024. The Court has permitted the continued use of mifepristone while the litigation remains pending.

Research the Law:

Related Resources for Abortion Laws:

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