Memo of Support: Reproductive Services Act
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to reproductive services A.6221 (Glick) S.4432 (Stewart-Cousins)
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
The National Organization for Women – New York strongly supports this legislation to safeguard women’s reproductive health, which would place the protections of Roe v. Wade squarely into New York State law. This legislation would ensure every woman’s fundamental right to make private medical decisions with her doctor and would protect both a woman’s health and life throughout pregnancy.
Overview: Current law in New York State makes abortion legal by carving out exceptions in the criminal law, and fails to affirmatively guarantee abortion as a legal right in accordance with Roe v. Wade. As a result, women’s health is unnecessarily being put at risk.
Current law relies heavily on federal constitutional law. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number and breadth of proposed restrictions on abortion access and family planning funding at the federal level. In this increasingly hostile climate to women’s health and reproductive rights, New York State should not rely solely on federal law to ensure women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Now more than ever, it is important to keep New York State strong for women’s rights, by enshrining the protections of Roe v. Wade into New York State law.
Why This Legislation is Critical to Women:
- It will codify the Roe v. Wade decision into New York State law.
- It will protect access to abortion through 24 weeks and in cases where a woman’s life or health is at risk.
- It will ensure that physicians acting within their scope of practice and in accordance with the law cannot be unfairly prosecuted for providing abortion care.
- It will ensure that New York remains a beacon and leader in women’s reproductive healthcare.
It is important to note that this legislation would make no changes to current law which allows health care providers to refuse to provide abortion care due to their religious beliefs. This legislation also does not alter the 2003 federal ban on what is referred to as “partial birth” abortion.
Passing this legislation will not only preserve reproductive rights for New York women, but it will serve as a strong model for states across the country. It will ensure that New York remains a safe haven for women and that every woman has the right to make the best healthcare decisions for herself, her family, and her future.
As a proponent of women’s rights and an advocate for equality, NOW New York strongly supports this critical legislation and urges state lawmakers to pass it without delay.