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Stefanowski: Connecticut minors seeking abortions should have to notify their parents

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski speaks to reporters in front of the Connecticut State Capitol. Stefanowski accepted his party’s nomination two weeks prior, and in November, will face incumbent Governor Ned Lamont, who he ran against and lost to in 2018.
Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski speaks to reporters in front of the Connecticut state Capitol. Stefanowski accepted his party’s nomination two weeks prior. In November, he will face incumbent Gov. Ned Lamont, whom he ran against and lost to in 2018.

Republican candidate for Connecticut governor Bob Stefanowski spoke to reporters for the first time after receiving his party’s endorsement on May 6 and was asked to clarify his position on abortion rights.

Right before a draft opinion leak from the U.S. Supreme Court cast the future of Roe v. Wade in doubt, lawmakers in Connecticut passed a bill making the state a safe harbor for people seeking abortions.

Stefanowski said he wouldn’t try to change existing law. But then he said he would make one change.

“I’m not going to change Connecticut law,” Stefanowski said Wednesday. “The thing we should look at is parental notification.”

He said parents should know if their child is getting an abortion. State law allows patients under 16 years old to get an abortion after receiving counseling that includes the possibility of involving parents in the decision.

Parental notification can make it harder for young people in crisis to get abortions, said state Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford), who spoke Wednesday on behalf of Stefanowski’s opponent, Gov. Ned Lamont.

Stefanowski has said he supports parental notification except in the case of rape or incest. In response to a reporter’s question about Stefanowski’s stance, Gilchrest said that even with a caveat that allowed a minor who’s ending a pregnancy due to rape or incest to keep the news from their parents, that could force the child to prove it in court.

“So then, how would we prove rape or incest? Would a child have to report that to the police? As many of us know, most individuals when they’ve been sexually assaulted don’t report [it] to the police,” Gilchrest said Wednesday. “When we start to talk about abortion restrictions, he’s playing into the anti-choice playbook. There’s no reasonable restriction.”

Gilchrest also went after Stefanowski’s assertion that Lamont supports late-term abortion, saying that Stefanowski is “politicizing” something that rarely happens after the viability of a fetus – like when there’s a fetal anomaly or when the life of a person giving birth is in jeopardy.

Also during Wednesday’s news conference, Stefanowski blamed Lamont for inflation. He cited a plastic bag tax that the governor supports, saying that it contributes to inflation.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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