NYS legislators pass bills strengthening abortion access

Originally published in Rochester First

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — In response to a leaked document authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggests the majority of the court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, New York State legislators passed a series of bills on Wednesday strengthening the reproductive healthcare rights of both patients and employees.

These six bills have passed the state senate amidst national uncertainty surrounding abortion access and follow the revocation of those rights in several states. The bills now await the governor’s signature, at which point they immediately take effect.

“As other states take steps backward by passing draconian abortion restrictions, New York remains committed to protecting the rights of every woman,” Senator Sean Ryan said in a press release. “This package of legislation creates extra protections for individuals visiting New York in search of abortion healthcare and strengthens our state’s role as a safe haven for women whose reproductive rights are being threatened.”

FoNew Yorkers who work in reproductive healthcare in any capacity, the following bills have strengthened their rights and safety:

  • Prohibiting Medical Misconduct Charges for Performing Reproductive Health Care: Bill S.9079A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan, protects licensed medical professionals from misconduct charges for providing legal abortions to out-of-state patients.
  • Protection of Malpractice Coverage: Similar to the bill above, bill S.9080B, sponsored by Senator Michelle Hinchey, prohibits medical malpractice insurers from taking action against a healthcare provider in New York State for performing legal abortions or other reproductive healthcare needs. 
  • Freedom from Interference with Reproductive Health Advocacy and Travel Exercise: Bill S.9039A, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, establishes a cause of action for those who unlawfully interfere with the rights to reproductive healthcare. 
  • Address Confidentiality Program: Bill S.9384A, sponsored by Senator Cordell Cleare, adds the employees, volunteers, providers, and the immediate family members of anyone in those groups to the Address Confidentiality Program.

For both New Yorkers and out-of-state patients, the following bills were passed protecting their rights and safety: 

  • Extradition and Discovery Non-Cooperation: Bill S.9077, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, prohibits New York State from participating in out-of-state cases involving abortion, with few exceptions. 

    • In criminal cases, the bill prevents extradition of a defendant in abortion-related cases, barring a written note from the governor alleging the abortion was performed in that state.
    • In civil cases, New York State cannot honor out-of-state subpoenas involving legal New York State abortions, unless the case is brought by a patient.
  • Study of the Impact of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers: Bill S.470, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, aims to learn more about the unmet needs of pregnant people in New York State by starting a temporary task force to investigate the impact of “limited service pregnancy centers.”