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Connecticut’s First-in-the-Nation Reproductive Health Care Law And The State’s Commitment To Patient Access And Privacy – Privacy Protection

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In May 2022, Governor Lamont signed Public Act 22-19, expanding
Connecticut’s abortion statute, creating a first-in-the nation
law that provides important protections for medical providers and
patients seeking abortion care in the state. Now in effect, Public
Act 22-19: (1) allows a broader class of health care providers to
perform certain abortion-related care, (2) maintains
confidentiality regarding communications and information shared
between patients and health care providers, and (3) provides
additional legal protections for Connecticut abortion providers and
those traveling to Connecticut for abortion care. In line with this
new law’s commitment to expanded access and patient privacy,
the state launched a reproductive rights website and phone line in early August with
information and resources related to individuals’ privacy and
other rights regarding pregnancy, abortion, and abortion-related

Public Act 22-19 expands abortion access in Connecticut by
increasing the number of health care providers eligible to perform
certain abortion-related care, among whom include, advanced
practice clinicians, registered nurses, nurse-midwives, and
physician assistants. The law also prohibits the disclosure of
patients’ medical information related to reproductive health
care services, without the patient’s written consent. It is
important to note that the law includes several exceptions to this
written consent requirement. These exceptions include, (a) state or
court rules that permit disclosure without written consent, (b)
instances in which the information or communications are provided
to an attorney or professional liability insurer to combat claims
against the health care provider, (c) claims of suspected abuse of
a child, elderly individual, or individuals who are physically or
intellectually disabled, and (d) public health investigations
conducted by the Commissioner of Public Health.

The law additionally establishes several protections for
abortion providers and those traveling to Connecticut for abortion
care against lawsuits and harassment from other states. Connecticut
tribunals are now prohibited from issuing subpoenas requested by
another state relating to reproductive health care services.
Connecticut judges are also prohibited from issuing summons based
on pending prosecution or a grand jury investigation of an
individual, requested by another state and relating to the
assistance or receipt of reproductive health care services.
Finally, the law prohibits public agencies or employees,
appointees, officers, officials, or individuals acting on behalf of
a public agency from expending time, money, and resources (e.g.
facilities, property, equipment, etc.) in the furtherance of any
interstate investigation or proceeding to impose civil or criminal
liability on an individual or entity for seeking assistance or
assisting others with reproductive health care services.

In addition to this new law, the state has developed a new
reproductive rights website replete with information for
individuals in English and Spanish on their rights to an abortion,
community resources, transportation and travel, paying for an
abortion, and how to help protect privacy relating to reproductive
health care services. For example, on the state’s portal dedicated to abortion rights in
Connecticut, individuals are provided with instructions on using
“incognito” or “private” browsing to look up
information relating to pregnancy or abortions if they wish to
maintain confidentiality while using shared electronic devices. For
more information relating to privacy and confidentiality related to
reproductive health care, please review the following tools
provided by the state:

The state also launched an “infoline” phone line at
1-866-CTCHOICE (1-866-282-4642), which people can call for
information about reproductive rights and providers in

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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