First and foremost, Connecticut aims to be a safe haven for reproductive rights. The impetus for the passage of this legislation came after the leak of the Supreme Court opinion (SCOTUS) Dobbs v. Jackson – and in anticipation of Supreme Court appointment Roe v. Wade, which she did on June 24, 2022. Because Roe and other landmark decisions — marriage equality, the right to contraception, etc. — are bound by the constitutional right to privacy, many Americans fear more changes are on the horizon. While Connecticut`s law protects people living in the state from nutmeg, it also makes the state a potential destination for people seeking abortion services — or legal protection — when fleeing states where abortion is prohibited. A notable measure extends the protections of the law to people performing surgical abortions. This means that anyone certified in procedures – including medical assistants, nurses and nurse midwives – is immune from the backlash of abortion bans and other restrictive anti-abortion laws.

In addition, you cannot be bound by subpoenas outside the state. And if you`ve been billed by another state for providing care or assistance to someone who needed care, the state will help cover legal fees. That`s in part in response to Texas` controversial six-week abortion ban, which the ACLU`s Texas chapter calls «incitement to vigilante prosecution.» In general, Safe Harbour provisions prevent sexually trafficked adolescents from being prosecuted for prostitution and provide them with special services such as safe housing, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment. If you are trans or have a trans child, or if you provide health care services to trans people, you cannot be extradited if you seek refuge in a state with Safe Harbor laws, nor can the resources be used to return you to a dangerous state that would punish you. If a state bans sex reassignment care and/or abortions accuses you of committing a crime, you can seek refuge in places like Connecticut, meaning the state won`t use its time, resources, facilities, or personnel to help the state you feel in. Again, this is consistent with protections for those seeking or offering abortions. Disturbingly, these laws protected those who enslaved people by imposing punishments on anyone who helped slaves flee to states for abolition. However, as the abolitionist movement grew, states – especially those in the North – passed «Safe Harbor» laws designed to ensure that former slaves could seek refuge and that those who helped them were not punished. Judges and officials of government agencies who participated in the study noted that while the transfer of cases of sexual trafficking of minors from juvenile jurisdiction to child protection «creates opportunities for the provision of services and protection,» it also raises questions about the knowledge and capacity of child protection staff to handle these cases safely. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an unsafe abortion as a procedure that terminates a pregnancy performed by people who do not have the necessary skills and/or an abortion performed in an environment that does not meet medical standards. Today, 4 out of 10 pregnancies are unplanned.

The research team conducted face-to-face and telephone interviews with 375 Kentucky State Agency employees and 82 juvenile and family judges about their experiences in minor sex trafficking cases, as well as their knowledge and perceived implications of Safe Harbor legislation. Of the 82 judges, 55 responded to an online survey that included questions about their demographics, workload and attitudes toward sex trafficking. previous evaluations of training; and preferred training methods. Employees of Crown agencies were not asked to complete a similar survey. The researchers also collected data from a 2012-2013 pilot study that compared the reactions of state agency staff and judges to cases of child sex trafficking before and after Kentucky`s Safe Harbor laws were implemented in 2013. The researchers also collected state records on criminal charges of human trafficking and prostitution of minors from 2007 to 2018. Although 70 percent of states reported Safe Harbor laws by the end of 2017, the University of Kentucky team reported a lack of data to assess the impact of these laws on young victims of human trafficking and court decisions. The researchers worked to overcome this lack of information through a mixed methods study supported by the NIJ.

So what does Connecticut`s Safe Harbor Act guarantee when it comes to transgender rights and health care? First, the law prohibits health care providers and state agencies from assisting in other states` lawsuits against people fleeing states that have made (or will be) gender-sensitive care. The same goes for those states that have banned or will ban abortion services. The modern version of these shelters is linked to access to health care. Many Americans seeking abortion services and/or gender-based health care are voicing concern as states across the country pass abortion bans and anti-trans laws. Much like Safe Harbor laws of the past, Connecticut`s legislation protects some of the nation`s most vulnerable people. Judges and state officials also expressed concern that minors identified as victims of sex trafficking could end up on the streets because communities do not have safe havens for these juveniles after they are removed from juvenile detention centers under safe harbor provisions. With the passage of the Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act in 2013, Kentucky became one of many states to enact laws consistent with the federal government`s «realignment of the legal status of trafficked minors» outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. [1] Kentucky`s Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act includes Safe Harbor legislation for sexually trafficked minors that requires state agencies, including juvenile courts, child protection agencies, and juvenile justice agencies, to develop a coordinated plan to provide comprehensive care and serve and protect victims. [2] While New York lawmakers hope that this fund — open to anyone in need — will create a model for other states, it`s clear that there are many ways for state and local governments to protect those seeking medical care. In part, Connecticut`s newly signed law is so steeped in history because such a law hasn`t been seen in a while — since the days before the Civil War. During the 1700s and 1800s, in the northern and southern states, state governments passed laws on fugitive slaves. Moreover, this historic step comes at a time when Connecticut is experiencing a shortage of gynecologists and obstetricians.

By expanding coverage of who can provide safe and legal abortion services, the bills expand state health services and make them more accessible to patients, while protecting the health professionals who provide these services. In an effort amid other states` abortion bans and the Supreme Court`s Roe v. Wade, the law aims to protect not only those who provide or seek abortion-related health services, but also those who need gender-specific care. So let`s take a look at the history of Safe Harbor laws. the importance of today`s efforts; and how Connecticut`s landmark law created a model for other states. A University of Kentucky study on the impact of their state`s Safe Harbor laws showed that children involved in the justice system were more likely to be screened for sex trafficking and offered victim services, and less likely to be prosecuted. However, agency staff, as well as juvenile and family judges interviewed for the study, raised concerns about the legislation, including the additional workload of already overstretched child protection staff. Through these interviews, the University of Kentucky research team also identified needed improvements in policies, education, and practices related to child sex trafficking. With Roe v. Wade tipped and legal protections — such as the Equality Act, which has yet to be mandated — are being debated.

At the federal level, it`s clear that state lawmakers are working to help not only their constituents, but also other Americans who need access to safe and vital health care. and financial services and protection. The researchers translated information from their interviews and surveys into quantitative data that could be compared to data from the 2012-2013 pilot study and 2007-2018 state records. By quantifying interview and survey data, the researchers were able to assess agency staff and determine awareness and ability to respond to sex trafficking among minors before and after Safe Harbor laws were implemented.