How New York’s abortion law has changed

On the 46th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, New York state passed a law to protect women’s access to abortion if the historic case is overturned.

“Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion. With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo after signing New York’s Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday night, January 22.

Not only will the law preserve access to abortions, it also removes abortion from the state’s criminal code. This would protect doctors or medical professionals who perform abortions from criminal prosecution. The law also now allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions in New York.

“The old law had criminal penalties. It was written that the doctor or professional could be held criminally liable,” Cuomo said during an interview on WNYC Wednesday.

The law also addresses late-term abortions. Under New York’s Reproductive Health Act, they can be performed after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or when necessary to protect the life of the mother.

“It’s about the health and safety of the mother and it’s always been the point where the conservatives wave the flag, they want to roll back Roe v. Wade — this is not gray here it’s black and white,” said Cuomo.

The bill was first introduced in 2006 but was blocked for consideration by the Republican-controlled state Senate. With Democrats now in the majority, the bill passed the legislature Tuesday night and was signed into law.

“We need to be honest with the public and say that this bill does not simply codify Roe v. Wade… what this bill does is expand abortion up to birth and the third trimester,” State Assembly Rep. Nicole Malliotakis argued before the state legislature. She criticized the part of the law allowing medical professionals other than doctors to perform abortions, saying Roe v. Wade requires a licensed physician perform the procedure. But this law removes that requirement and allows physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives to perform abortions.

She also argued that removing abortion from the criminal code would mean that if a fetus died as the result of an assault on a woman there would be no prosecution. “Being assaulted and losing your baby is not a woman’s choice,” she said.

https://wqad.com/2019/01/25/how-new-...w-has-changed/