ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, Governor Kathy Hochul is calling New York a “safe harbor” for abortion services. Lawmakers are scheduled to take up a package of six abortion bills these last two legislative session days.
In 2019, New York passed the Reproductive Health Act, which codified Roe v. Wade into state law. It allows for pregnancies to be terminated after the 24 week mark if the woman’s mental or physical health is at risk. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, each state would decide what to do with their abortion laws.
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solage says overturning Roe V Wade would be an attack on women’s reproductive rights. “So what we’re doing is making sure that doctors have the right to practice here,” she said. “Doctors and nurses and also individuals have protections when they come here cause at the end of the day this is a decision between a woman and her doctor.”
In Oklahoma, there is now a ban on abortion from the point of fertilization. Exceptions to the new law include cases that put the mother’s health in danger, rape or incest. With this being the most restrictive abortion law in the country, New York is voting on legislation that would legally protect doctors when performing abortions for those traveling to New York.
Another bill in the package would provide funding to abortion providers and non-profit organizations who primarily facilitate abortions. Senator Roxanne Persaud supports the package of bills.
“No one takes the decision lightly to have an abortion, so we’re just protecting the rights of women. We’re protecting the rights of caregivers. We’re protecting the rights of physicians who are going to administer the abortions because as you see across the country, they are being penalized for doing something that they were trained for,” she said.
In a statement from the NYS Catholic Conference, they say: “This is an egregious affront to the millions of pro-life citizens who reject abortion and don’t want to fund these services for New Yorkers, much less those from across the country.”