Constitutional amendment protecting abortion filed

Bills expanding access, protections go to governor to sign
June 30, 2022

An amendment to Delaware’s Constitution was filed June 29 that if passed would protect a woman’s right to abortion.

As a constitutional amendment, the legislation would need approval by a two-thirds majority in both houses in two consecutive legislative sessions in order to become law.

Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Talleyville, said in a statement that she filed the legislation in order to enshrine the right of reproductive autonomy in Delaware’s Constitution.

“The right to reproductive liberty is central to the exercise of personal autonomy and involves decisions people should be able to make free from compulsion of the state. Enshrining this right in the Constitution is critical to ensuring equal protection and treatment under the law and upholding the right of all people to health, dignity, independence, and freedom,” she said in a statement.

Evans Gay said Republicans have already said they will not support her legislation, and she said Delawareans should remember that when they go to the polls later this year. “This legislation should be a priority in 2023,” she said.

Already this session, the General Assembly has passed legislation to expand access to abortions, and enhance protections for abortion providers and patients seeking care. The bills await Gov. John Carney’s signature in order to become law.

House Bill 455, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, D-New Castle, and Evans would allow advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions; protect individuals from extradition to other states for criminal charges related to termination of a pregnancy; and prevent civil action by another state for those who seek, obtain, provide or assist others in obtaining services to terminate a pregnancy in Delaware. This bill would also provide a cause of action whereby someone sued in another state for allegedly receiving or providing abortion services that are legal in Delaware can recover related costs, damages or attorney fees; and prohibit insurers from increasing premiums or taking adverse actions against providers and organizations for providing legal reproductive healthcare services, even through telehealth.


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