UPDATE, 6/14/2022: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed the package of pro-abortion bills into law, further cementing New York’s status as one of the most pro-abortion states in the country.
“Today, we are taking action to protect our service providers from the retaliatory actions of anti-abortion states and ensure that New York will always be a safe harbor for those seeking reproductive healthcare,” she said in a statement.
With her signature, abortionists in New York are now shielded from legal liability, even if they break another state’s law.
6/12/2022: The New York legislature passed a number of bills aimed at making the state a sanctuary for abortion. Governor Kathy Hochul is likely to sign them into law.
According to a press release, the package includes protection for New York abortionists against being prosecuted for breaking pro-life laws in other states. It also bans medical malpractice insurance companies from taking adverse action against an abortionist for committing an abortion on a woman from another state. This includes New York abortionists dispensing the abortion pill through the mail to a woman in another state where the abortion may be illegal.
Additionally, abortionists, their staffers, and family members would be placed in a confidentiality program, where they are given a different mailing address instead of their home address. Other protections would ban other state authorities from arresting an abortionist for committing an abortion in New York, and state and local law enforcement are ordered not to cooperate with out-of-state authorities regarding abortion.
“Here in New York, we believe reproductive health care decisions are to be made by a patient in consultation with their doctor – not by the government,” Speaker Carl Heastie said in the press release. “This legislation will protect reproductive health care providers in New York from states looking to impose their policies on New Yorkers and punish providers beyond their borders.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Social Services specifically called for New York to be a “safe haven” for abortion as the prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned looms.
“This package of bills, including mine to protect reproductive health care providers against medical malpractice claims and professional discipline brought by states hell-bent on controlling women’s bodies and reaching across state lines to do so, will ensure that New York’s heroes, the women and men who continue to provide reproductive healthcare, can do so without fear of persecution or prosecution,” she said. “I thank Speaker Heastie for his leadership on this issue.”
Meanwhile, Assemblymember Amy Paulin claimed violence is increasing against abortionists, while ignoring the widespread violence being directed at the pro-life movement right now.
“According to the National Abortion Federation, targeted threats of violence against abortion providers are escalating,” she said. “This legislation would offer providers and other individuals who could be in danger of violence from dangerous antiabortion activists the peace of mind that their address is not readily available to the public.”
Governor Hochul has not specifically responded to the passage of these bills, but Hochul has previously spoken of her intent to make New York a “safe harbor” for abortion, so it is likely just a matter of time before she signs them into law.
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