In response to the continued assault on the right to abortion care, Erick proposes building on Connecticut’s groundbreaking Reproductive Freedom Act by establishing a fund to offer financial assistance to those who travel to Connecticut for legally protected abortion care. The plan also includes partnering with State Treasurers in pro-choice states across the country to form a nationwide coalition to make abortion travel safe, timely, efficient, affordable, and private.
The Safe Harbor Fund would connect people seeking abortion care who live in anti-abortion states with the financial support they need to travel to Connecticut for the care they need, want, and choose for themselves. Resources from the Safe Harbor Fund would go directly to abortion care providers in Connecticut already providing trusted, compassionate, and private abortion care, and would be used to provide financial support for those patients traveling to Connecticut for that abortion care. Those resources would also be available for safe lodging options while in Connecticut for care.
Even before the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe, which reversed nearly five decades of legal precedent and eliminated an individual’s constitutional right to an abortion, states across the country, in anticipation of that decision, had enacted legislation banning or restricting access to abortions and other healthcare procedures, even in instances of rape, incest or medical necessity. Women of color, the working poor, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are more negatively impacted by the recent Supreme Court decision, as they are more likely to lack the financial resources to travel to safe harbor states like Connecticut.
The plan calls for the Office of the Treasurer to partner with other State Treasurers across the country to encourage the establishment of similar funds in those states and to coordinate a nationwide coalition of pro-choice states that are willing to pay travel and lodging expenses for those traveling to their state from anti-choice states for legal and safe abortion care. The goal of the nationwide coalition would be to assist patients with accessing care in a state that is as close to the patient’s home state as is feasible, and in the most efficient, safe and cost effective way possible. Russell has already begun to discuss this idea with legislators, non-profit organizations, abortion care providers and State Treasurers to further develop this plan.
See press release on the Connecticut Safe Harbor Fund here.