State of Abortion in Connecticut report

HARTFORD—In its 12th annual State of Abortion in Connecticut report, the Connecticut Catholic Conference, which is the public policy office of the Catholic Bishops in Connecticut, revealed today that 75% of abortions performed in Connecticut during 2018 were paid for with taxpayer dollars.

In 2018, there were 9,294 abortions reported to the Department of Public Health as required by law. Of those abortions reported, 6,995 were performed on low-income women under the state’s Medicaid programs, most commonly known as HUSKY. Since the federal government does not reimburse the state for abortion expenses, the Connecticut taxpayers covered the expenses, which totaled $4.2 million. This information was provided to the Conference by the Connecticut Department of Social Services through a Freedom of Information request.

Connecticut pays the expenses for these abortions following a ruling in a 1986 Connecticut Superior Court case ordering that such expenses be covered. The state never appealed the ruling. In 1998, then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued an opinion applying that ruling to the HUSKY B program, which covers low-income teenage girls. Connecticut is one of fifteen states that require state taxpayers to pay for abortions under their Medicaid programs.

According to the Conference, it is conceivable that over the last 20 years Connecticut taxpayers have paid for approximately 140,000 abortions at a cost of $84 million. This is a conservative estimate, since the number of abortions performed in previous years were higher than the 9,294 total abortions reported in 2018. The number of abortions performed in Connecticut annually has declined by 32% over the last 10 years. This is reflective of a national trend.

“The large number of abortions performed on low-income women is reflective of Planned Parenthood’s financial dependency on this population group and the state income it generates to the organization. It is unfortunate that the political leaders in our state have never challenged the lower court’s ruling that is forcing many citizens to fund something that they find completely immoral and in direct conflict with their religious beliefs.”, said Chris Healy, Executive Director of the Catholic Conference.

The report also directly refutes the claims made by pro-choice advocates that changes in federal funding requirements for Title X family planning funds will hurt low-income women. Abortion services, the primary focus of Planned Parenthood centers, is already covered 100% by the state’s taxpayers. The Conference also emphasized that these funds were not cut. Planned Parenthood chose to stop their participation in the Title X program because of two new requirements: 1) Operate a separate facility for abortion services and 2) not provide direct medical referrals for abortions. Both requirements were intended to ensure compliance with already existing federal law that prohibits using the funding for abortions.

Even without Title X funds, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England is in an extremely strong financial position according to its own publicly available financial reports.

In the report, the Conference also highlights the lack of medical services provided by Planned Parenthood centers. The primary services they offer are extremely limited and can be obtained at other health centers, especially if the patient is covered by HUSKY. The one unique service they offer is abortion. Only four Planned Parenthood centers in Connecticut offer limited primary care services.

“Pro-choice advocates constantly make it appear that Planned Parenthood centers are a critical part of the healthcare system in our state, especially for low-income women. This is simply not true,” stated Healy. “Most of their services, with the exception of abortion services, can be found at other medical facilities across our state, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers. Federal money would be better spent on medical clinics that truly do offer a wide range of medical services to low-income residents.”

To view The State of Abortion in Connecticut—Twelfth Annual Report in its entirety, please click here.

The information contained in this report has been compiled and made available to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly and to the general public. It uses abortion data for the last ten years up to 2018, which is the most current data available.