What a Novel Concept: New York Hopes To Expand Abortion Rights

With story after story of Republicans in state after state pushing through laws designed to severely restrict or eliminate altogether a woman’s ability to access abortion care it is great to hear efforts like the one underway in New York to do just the opposite.

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) would guarantee that, under New York law, every woman would have the right to access abortion and family planning services and is designed to protect a woman’s right to control whether or not she uses contraception, has a child or terminates a pregnancy irrespective of anything passed by Congress or any action taken by the courts. The law is designed to “update” state health policy in ways that effectively place that policy in lines with the dictates of Roe v. Wade. For example, the RHA would extend the right of a woman to get a late-term abortion if continuing the pregnancy puts her life or health at risk. Under current law a woman in New York can only access a late-term abortion should continuing the pregnancy likely kill her.

Another significant feature of the RHA is the fact that it removes abortion from the penal code meaning the procedure would remain decriminalized even if the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade or Congress passed federal personhood legislation. Also, New York is currently the only state that still treats a late-term abortion as a homicide. The RHA would change that and provide much needed clarity under the law.

Because New York criminalizes abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy, unless a woman’s life is at risk, but does not provide the same, constitutionally required exception when a woman’s health is at risk passing the RHA would help protect doctors as well. Because New York law is unclear, many doctors fear that they risk criminal prosecution if they provide abortion care to a woman whose health is endangered later in a pregnancy. As a result, many health care providers are deterred from providing the best care to their patients, and some women are forced to leave the state to get the health care they need.

Women across the country have had enough of the attacks on their reproductive rights. We saw it in the 2012 election and we are starting to see it in state-level responses as well. Should the RHA pass, New York would be one of the only states to proactively protect women’s health and reproductive rights. Doing so would send a powerful and necessary message beyond the state’s borders and across the country that women and their doctors must be able and trusted to make personal health care decisions that are best for themselves and their families. It’s common sense that is sadly missing in so many state houses across this country.


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Amanda M.
Amanda M.2 years ago

How refreshing to see that there is ONE state that is not only fighting to protect our reproductive rights, but actually working to expand them! The decision whether or not to use contraception or have an abortion is the woman's decision, and hers alone, and NOBODY has the right to interfere with it!

Now all they need to do is make it harder for the anti-choicers to harass women at reproductive health clinics-what they are doing is stalking and harassing patients and clinic workers, and if that's not a form of domestic terrorism, I don't know what is!

Dennis D.
Dennis D.2 years ago

Jenn C. Nothing in your post was about abortion. There is no innocent or guilty life that is taken. And Jenn your assertion that it is an entitlement/ego issue is a bunch of malarkey. A woman making a decision to have an abortion is hers. Thank fully no one else gets to have an opinion. it is not an out sized entitlement/ego mentality or mind set. it is the legal right of every woman in America.

You thinly disguised anti choice talking points are the same one brought up time and again. You do not like abortions. Fine never have one. Problem solved.

Other women will have an abortion and yes it is moral and right for them. Just not for you.

Also which two websites do you use to review abortion stats every year.? Just curious.

Jenn C.
Jenn C.2 years ago

Re: Glenna J. Stats are on the web by valid reporting agencies anytime you want to make the search. I did, and I tend to review them every year. Taking an innocent life is not a small thing, and in many cases - yes - is murder. Killing another because you don't like your job or your partner (fixable things, to be sure) is a type of mania and comes from outsize instability or entitlement/ego issues.

stacey t.
Stacey Toda2 years ago

Makes me want to move to New York. Nice to see that somewhere they are doing the right thing.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black2 years ago

New York, New York, ah, liberals and progressives still exist some where. Great!

Gabriela M.
Gabriela Moreno2 years ago

To bad common sense can't be exported.

Leia P.
Leia P.2 years ago


Karin M.
Karin M.2 years ago

and its always good to put yourself in the position of another. before deciding if to do abortion or not. if your mother would of been in such a position, what would you of wished she decided then? do others what you want to be done to you. i am happy that my mother did not decide to abort me. although she would of had much more excuses than most of the women today making this decision. so, think little bit more. and think little bit more fefore you f... somebody - that should be birthcontrol. not "taking care" of "concequences" later

Karin M.
Karin M.2 years ago

abortion is not birthcontrol. and it should be not taken as such. is a baby taken as a human only after birth? but he or she is it from the moment its concived

Barbara Ostrand
Barbara Ostrand2 years ago

If only New York were in a warmer climate, I'd want to live there :)