Senator Fasano Opposes Plan B Requirement in State Budget Proposal

March 31, 2006

State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) spoke out today in opposition of legislation that proposes that all hospitals in Connecticut be required to provide Plan B emergency contraceptives. The measure was included in a state budget adjustment bill that was voted on in the Appropriations Committee yesterday. The four Catholic Hospitals in the state have publicly opposed requirements to carry emergency contraceptives on religious grounds.

“Catholic hospitals provide a critically important service to residents in need and have done so for years. To deny them state funding on the basis of their religious convictions, quite simply, is wrong,” said Senator Fasano, one of four Senate Republicans on the Appropriations Committee who voted against yesterday’s budget proposal. “Thousands of my constituents have received wonderful care at Catholic Hospitals, especially St. Raphael, which borders my district. Threatening to pull funding from hospitals on the basis of one drug sets a terrible precedent.”

This is the second time the issue has come up this session. It appeared to have died two weeks ago when the Public Health Committee failed to take action on a similar bill. Language in yesterday’s bill stated that hospitals that refuse to provide Plan B would lose out on a share of $5 million set aside by the Department of Social Services to help facilities cover spiraling energy costs.

“Although the bill requires all hospitals to make Plan B available, the measure is clearly aimed specifically at St. Francis in Hartford, St. May’s in Waterbury, St. Vincent’s in Bridgeport, and the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven. Their religious convictions should be respected. Holding back state funding will only serve to undermine the medical care that Connecticut residents depend upon at Catholic Hospitals,” added Senator Fasano.

Senator Fasano is a Minority Leader and is serving his 2nd term representing East Haven, North Haven, and Wallingford.