Legislators announced that they drafted a Plan B compromise, which is sensitive to the beliefs of the Catholic Church and is expected to pass the Senate Wednesday.
Sen. Jonathan Harris, D-West Hartford, said Tuesday that while he knows they have the votes in both the House and the Senate, legislators have been working with the Catholic Church to draft language it would find acceptable and that would provide a consistent standard of care.
He said the Catholic Church hasn’t formally agreed to the language, but based on their discussions it seems to satisfy their concerns.
The amendment expected to be introduced in the Senate Wednesday allows a hospital to contract with a third-party to administer the emergency contraception to rape victims, if a pregnancy test determines the woman is not pregnant.
“The bottomline is we need to provide a consistent standard of care in all of our hospitals,” Harris said.
Rep. Deborah Heinrich, D-Madison, who spoke out about her sexual assault last month, said “it’s exciting we come here today with areas of agreement.” She said while the Catholic Church hasn’t agreed specifically to the draft amendment it’s important to “keep the bill moving forward.”
Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, said he was happy legislators were continuing to work with the Catholic Church to reach common ground despite having the votes to push through a vote.
Once the Senate votes on the amendment Wednesday it will be sent back to the Public Health Committee where it died a year ago. Public Health Committee Co-Chairman Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, said she is more than “fairly confident it will get out of committee.”
From there it could be sent to the House for a vote if no changes were made and from there it could be sent to Gov. M. Jodi Rell to sign into law.