If Roe is weakened or overturned:
Abortion will remain legal in New York. In 2019, New York passed comprehensive abortion rights legislation, expanding access to abortion care in the state.
As of 2019, New York law generally prohibits abortion after twenty-four weeks post-fertilization, unless the fetus is not viable or the pregnant person’s life or health, including mental health, is at risk.1
In 2019, New York enacted a statutory protection for abortion as a fundamental right.2 It states:
The legislature finds that comprehensive reproductive health care is a fundamental component of every individual’s health, privacy and equality. Therefore, it is the policy of the state that: 1. Every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization. 2. Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion, pursuant to this article. 3. The state shall not discriminate against, deny, or interfere with the exercise of the rights set forth in this section in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.
The state provides public funding for abortion and requires private insurance coverage of abortion care.3 State law authorizes certain health-care practitioners, including advance practice clinicians (APCs), to provide abortion care,4 and includes protections for clinic safety and access by prohibiting interference.5 Through its FY20 and FY21 budgets, New York City provided $250,000 to the New York Abortion Access Fund.6
In 2020, the New York Attorney General joined a letter from 21 state attorneys general requesting that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) take steps to increase access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, during the COVID-19 pandemic.7
Laws that could be enforced if Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned
New York does not have a pre-Roe ban, as the state first legalized abortion in 1970 without residency requirements.8
If Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned, abortion will remain legal in New York.
- 1. N.Y. PUB. HEALTH LAW §§ 2599-aa to 2599-bb.
- 2. Id.
- 3. DEP’T OF HEALTH, Medicaid Family Planning Services, https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/managed_care/famplan10ques.htm; N.Y. INS. LAW § 3217-c; N.Y. COMP. CODES R. & REGS. tit. 11, § 52.16 (c) and (o).
- 4. N.Y. PUB. HEALTH LAW § 2599-bb; N.Y. EDUC. LAW § 6500 et seq.
- 5. N.Y. PENAL LAW § 240.70 (1)(a) - (b), (d).
- 6. Nikita Stewart, New York City Allocates $250,000 for Abortions, Challenging Conservative States, N.Y. TIMES (June 14, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/14/nyregion/abortion-funding-ny.html; FY21 Expense Funding, THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, http://www.nyc.gov/html/citycouncil/html/budget/expense_funding.shtml (Search organizational name or source for “New York Abortion Access Fund” and follow search hyperlink).
- 7. Letter from state AGs to Secretary Alex Azar (U.S. HHS) and Commissioner Stephen Hahn (U.S. FDA) (March 30, 2020), https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/FINAL%20AG%20Letter%20HHS%20Medication%20Abortion%202020%20%289%29%5B1%5D.pdf.
- 8. N.Y. PENAL LAW § 125.05(3) (McKinney Supp. 1971).