Archbishop Henry Mansell said he is considering all options, including a court challenge, to change Connecticut’s new law that requires all hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. The law has already been signed by Gov. Jodi Rell.
Catholic hospitals and officials are opposed to the new law because emergency contraception, used 72 hours after intercourse, could cause an abortion.
The archbishop reportedly spent over an hour in a meeting with the speaker of the house and the chairman of the human services committee yesterday. After the meeting, the archbishop said there is still a possibility for dialog about the Plan B law.
But Sen. Jonathan Harris of the Human Services Committee reportedly suggested that future talks would be futile. "I don't think there's more that we can do, I wish we could but I don't think there is," he was quoted as saying by WTNH (Hartford, CT).
Harris had presented Church representatives with a compromise to the law prior to its passage. The compromise would allow a third person to dispense the Plan B pill as opposed to Catholic hospital staff. A similar compromise is in effect in New York and New Jersey. But Archbishop Mansell has said this compromise is not acceptable.
The Archdiocese is considering the possibility of asking for the law to be changed through a technical adjustment, for which the deadline is June 6. If that route does not result in a change that accommodates Catholic values, then the Archbishop has said he will consider a court challenge of the new law.