Statement From Senator Krueger On The Reproductive Health Act

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

New York – State Senator Liz Krueger released the following statement today following passage in the Assembly of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), A1748/S2796. The RHA would update New York State law to bring it into line with the standard of Roe v Wade, protecting New Yorkers’ rights in the event of Federal action to restrict abortion access:

“With one-party Republican rule in Washington and a President-elect who promises to overturn Roe v. Wade, we have no more time to waste. Women’s reproductive rights are under attack across the country, and soon we may not even be able to rely on limited federal protections. New York’s abortion law is nearly fifty years old – it is outdated and incomplete. For years members of the Senate Majority Coalition have hidden behind Roe, saying that updating state-level laws is unnecessary, that Roe will never be overturned. Clearly that’s no longer a risk we can afford to take.

“I am proud to be the co-prime sponsor of this bill in the Senate, with Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and I commend my colleagues in the Assembly for passing it, along with the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act.  New York must be a national leader in protecting abortion access, ensuring that complex and personal decisions about reproductive healthcare are the sole responsibility of a woman and her medical providers. The rights of New York State families should be fully protected by New York State laws.”

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BACKGROUND:
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA), sponsored in the Assembly by Assm. Deborah Glick, would secure and protect access to abortion in New York State. Last updated in 1970, New York’s abortion law falls short of constitutional protections as defined by Roe v Wade in 1973, and does not reflect current medical practices. The RHA would explicitly allow for constitutionally-protected care late in pregnancy when a woman’s life or health is at risk, or a fetus is not viable. Currently, discrepancies between state and federal law often force critically ill pregnant women to leave the state in order to get the care they need. Additionally, the RHA repeals outdated and unconstitutional criminal statutes prohibiting abortion, and moves the regulation of abortion into the public health law. This ensures that New York State law treats abortion as health care, not a criminal act.