Connecticut Abortion Laws

Connecticut does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.

Although Roe v. Wade legalized abortion at the federal level, ruling that a woman's access to abortion is a matter of privacy, states are free to set numerous restrictions and regulations. But Connecticut abortion laws are, generally speaking, among the least restrictive in the nation. Other jurisdictions often require consent requirements and other statutory obstacles. Those types of roadblocks don't exist in Connecticut.

Connecticut had a hand in one of Americas' first abortion laws. The earliest anti-abortion laws were intended to protect women from untrained abortionists. Records indicate abortions occurred unregulated during the 1800s, and the number of deaths caused by complications from illegal and unsafe abortions is impossible to determine.

In 1821, America's first statutory abortion regulation was enacted in Connecticut in order to protect women from abortion inducement through poison administered after the fourth month of pregnancy.

Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, abortion history took a turn. Women's groups, along with doctors and lawyers, organized a movement to reform abortion laws. Reformers cited inequalities between men and women that were exacerbated by women's inability to adequately control their reproductive lives.

In the 1960s, women's rights organizations, including the National Organization for Women (NOW), lobbied for abortion law reform and filed lawsuits when lobbying efforts failed. States responded, reforming their laws about abortion, but women's rights groups continued to fight for unfettered access to abortion services for women. Anti-abortion groups fought back, arguing that a woman's right to reproductive freedom is no greater than the right of an unborn child to be born.

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

Code Section 19a-600, et seq.
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion -
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Pregnant woman's decision to terminate pregnancy before viability-after viability, only to preserve life or health of pregnant woman
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion -
Consent Requirements Minors (persons less than 16 years) must be provided with information and counseling and then sign and date standard form (unless medical emergency)
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements -

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Connecticut attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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