Protestors at the state Capitol in 2018.
Gov. Ned Lamont. Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz published an open letter Monday to women-owned businesses in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, suggesting that Connecticut may offer a more hospitable climate for them in the wake of their states’ legislatures voting to either ban or sharply curtail abortion rights.

The letter from the two Democratic leaders is likely as much about domestic politics as a serious bid to coax businesses north to Connecticut, but a spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development said the agency will be directly contacting businesses in those states, most likely via email.

“Your state legislature’s recent decision to severely curb women’s reproductive rights is sending shockwaves across the country, including in the business world. Condemnation of this extreme measure has been swift and calls for corporate boycotts grow stronger by the day,” Lamont and Bysiewicz wrote. “This is clearly an issue that won’t be going away any time soon.”

Alabama passed a bill banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Georgia quickly followed. Missouri passed a measure that largely bans abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy. All three bills run afoul of the framework outlined by Roe v. Wade and seem geared to forcing a new review of abortion rights by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Colorado and Maryland banned government employees from traveling to Alabama for work-related projects, and Maryland’s comptroller announced a plan to divest its pension portfolio of investments in Alabama businesses.

The travel bans echo the action taken by former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2015, when Indiana passed a religious freedom bill that was seen as discriminatory to gays and lesbians. Indiana quickly revised the bill after major businesses threatened boycotts.

The three southern states have yet to show signs of revising the abortion bills, prompting Hollywood filmmakers to talk about boycotts, which could be costly in Georgia, a frequent location for filmmakers.

Lamont and Bysiewicz urged women in those states to look to Connecticut, promising relocation assistance and a state that has codified the protections of Roe v. Wade in state law.

“If you are as concerned as we are about this issue, we would urge you to relocate your operations to a state that supports the rights of women and whose actions and laws are unwavering in support of tolerance and inclusivity. In short, I urge you to come to Connecticut,” Lamont said.

Lamont Open Letter (Text)

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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  1. What a waste of taxpayers money. I guess Gov forgot to mention about the significantly higher operating costs, the hostile attitude towards business in general, and massive regulatory infrastructure versus those other states. When the state government actually takes its job seriously when it comes to understanding what it takes to attract businesses to the state, we might actually make some headway.

  2. Connecticut’s anti-business and pro-choice. There are many other states that are BOTH pro-business and pro-choice. Good try Lamont, got you a headline, probably won’t result in much more than that.

  3. A real solid business plan to bring businesses into the state: Have the State control wages, control benefits with FMLA, increase sales and income taxes, install tolls on all highways then invite all those women owned southern companies yearning to do business in a Democrat regulated state to open up shop in the state. Our GDP is certain to go from negative to positive. Pardon my cynicism.

  4. While I completely support women’s abortion rights I am not sure of Gov. Lamont’s strategy on this one. He certainly underestimates the lower cost of living and doing business in many other states that remain pro-choice. More importantly what if no one responds to his request to come ere … what would that say about CT’s competitive landscape? Interesting to see see if the press pick up on this.

  5. Who knew that killing unborn babies in the womb would be good for business in Connecticut! It just goes to show you that progressives really do care about economic development.

    I suggest that our leaders worry a bit more about our economy circling the drain on their watch and less about what goes on in Alabama, as disagreeable as it is.

  6. So, I know this will never be allowed but does our governor really want CT to be known as the state that backs what the media calls women rights but is really abortion rights? Does the media really support late term abortions including after birth? Does our legislators really believe it is OK to kill babies within hours after they were born. I have known many people that have had to deal with a difficult decision when dealing with a fetus. It is the decision I am glad nobody in my family would choose. I know families that has decided to abort due to medical reasons and have had issues living with that. But when I look at my children and grandchildren, I am glad my wife and children have made the right choice without government interference.

    1. Lawrence, your last three words sum up this issue…”without government interference”. Roe v Wade is the law of the land and is supported by over 70% of Americans. You should really stop with the false “Fox News” narrative about the media supporting murdering babies after they are born, it’s just not true. I know it has become harder than ever to discern what is factual in today’s political climate but continually repeating a lie will not make it become factual.

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