FACTS: NYS Passes Reproductive Health Act

New York lawmakers have passed one of the nation’s strongest protections for abortion rights, saying the women of New York need legal safeguards if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Known as the Reproductive Health Act, the measure replaces a 1970 state abortion law that was passed three years before Roe legalized abortion nationwide. It codifies many abortion rights laid out in Roe and other court rulings,including a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman’s health is endangered.

But that hasn’t stopped Republicans across the state from spreading “fake news” and ‘false information’ about the bill that was passed by the NYS legislature on Tuesday.

Here are the Facts:

  •  Under current New York state abortion law — written in 1970 and never updated after Roe v. Wade in 1973 — abortion is a criminal act unless:

1) it is performed before the 24th week of pregnancy, or

2) it is necessary to preserve a woman’s life.

  •  Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) held that a woman has a right to choose an abortion before fetal viability, and that after viability, a woman maintains her right to choose an abortion if her health or life are at risk.
  • The Reproductive Health Act repeals the law that criminalizes abortion and creates a new section of the Public Health Law, which would read as follows:

 A health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized under title eight of the education law, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly passed the bill Tuesday, the 46th anniversary of the Roe decision. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was expected to quickly sign it into law.