Protecting Pregnant Women: A Republican Initiative

June 20, 2018

By: Senator Kevin Kelly(R-Stratford)

At the 5 o’clock hour on a beautiful Friday afternoon a great new piece of legislation became law, despite the hypocritical rumblings of a lameduck governor who refused to put pen to paper and sign into law a bill which increases access to prenatal care.

Fortunately a bill that makes it out of both chambers becomes law if the governor fails to sign it within 15 days following the adjournment of the legislative session.

Public Act No. 18-43, legislation that will allow uninsured women to purchase health insurance once they find out they are pregnant is an initiative that I have been working on for three years. This year I was able to usher this legislation through both chambers; ultimately it will enhance access to prenatal care and help ensure healthy outcomes for unborn babies.

Unfortunately, the governor, instead of applauding the bipartisan work of the legislature, wrinkled his nose for no other reason than it was introduced and championed by a Republican legislator. For someone who claims to be such a supporter for women’s rights it is baffling that he would refuse to sign a bill that protects women and protects families from incurring enormous hospital bills due to a lack of preventive care.

A qualifying condition to purchase health insurance is created when someone gets married and when someone has a baby – but before the passage of this legislation if you were an uninsured woman who discovered she was pregnant, no qualifying life event was triggered. This outdated policy took no preventive steps to combat risky pregnancies and birth complications that force families to shoulder extreme financial burdens.

I am proud to have worked to get this bill passed and I was happy to roll up my sleeves and work with Democrats and Republicans alike to get this bill across the finish line.

This is good news for Connecticut residents and good news for expectant mothers.

This bill makes Connecticut a leader in women’s health care and I am happy to say that protecting pregnant women, children and families is a priority for Republicans in Connecticut and should be a priority for all; shame on Governor Malloy.