Today, the New York Senate Majority will advance legislation to protect the right to choose for New Yorkers from Harlem to the Hudson.
Also, it includes those who travel to New York from states where their rights to obtain a safe and legal abortion have been taken away or is under threat.
This suite of legislation protects the rights of individuals seeking abortion care or gender-affirming care in New York State, expands the eligibility of the Address Confidentiality Program to protect New Yorkers who fear for their safety after seeking reproductive health care, and directs the Commissioner of Health to study the impact of limited service pregnancy centers.
This bill package also provides certain legal protections for New York-based abortion service providers, including prohibiting medical misconduct charges for performing reproductive health care, forbidding New York State from cooperating with out-of-state legal cases involving abortion except in limited circumstances, and prohibits medical malpractice insurers from taking adverse action against a healthcare provider in New York State for providing legal reproductive services.
When reproductive rights are being curtailed across the nation, this legislative package ensures that New York State will remain a safe haven for any person seeking abortion healthcare.
This package builds on the Conference’s work to expand New Yorkers‘ reproductive rights and protect women’s right to choose.
In 2019, under the Senate Democratic Majority, New York codified Roe v. Wade in New York State’s law when it passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA).
The RHA decriminalized abortion and expanded the range of health care practitioners who can perform abortion care.
The Senate Majority also passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) to ensure that FDA-approved contraceptive drugs are covered by insurance companies and the Boss Bill to prevent employers from using their religious beliefs to infringe on women’s decisions over their reproductive care.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The leaked Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Taking away the right to safe and legal abortion care will harm women’s health and relegate women to second-class citizens with no right to bodily autonomy. Since gaining the Senate Majority in 2019, the Democratic Majority has been actively working to safeguard the reproductive rights of New Yorkers, and we will once again lead the way to guarantee reproductive rights and protect New York women from harmful policies implemented around the country. Thank you to the bill sponsors and Senator Cordell Cleare, Chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Issues, for your work to ensure that New York remains a beacon for women’s right to choose and that no person seeking reproductive health care in this state or nation is left in the shadows.”
Senator Cordell Cleare, bill sponsor and Chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Issues, said, “As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee—I am very proud that today, our Conference takes a number of proactive steps to ensure that we protect the fundamental human rights of health, safety, and choice as it relates to reproductive health care. This is only a first step and there is so much more to be done to ensure that New York is a safe haven for equity, justice, and equal rights and outcomes.”
The legislation being passed by the Senate Majority includes:
- Freedom from Interference with Reproductive Health Advocacy and Travel Exercise: This bill, S.9039A, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, protects the rights of individuals seeking abortion care or gender-affirming care in New York State. This legislation also creates a civil cause of action for unlawful interference with the protected rights to reproductive healthcare.
- Extradition and Discovery Non-Cooperation: This bill, S.9077, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger forbids New York State from cooperating with out-of-state legal cases involving abortion except in limited circumstances.
- For criminal cases, this the bill prohibits New York from extraditing a defendant to another state to face abortion-related charges unless the governor of that state alleges in writing that the defendant was present in that state at the time of the alleged offense and that they later fled.
- For civil cases, the bill prohibits a New York court from honoring a subpoena request from the court of another state if the out-of-state case relates to abortion services legally performed in New York State. A New York court may still honor an out-of-state subpoena if the case is brought by the patient.
- Prohibiting Medical Misconduct Charges for Performing Reproductive Health Care: This bill, S.9079A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan prohibits professional misconduct charges against licensed medical professionals for providing legal abortion and reproductive health services to patients who reside in states where such services are illegal.
- Protection of Malpractice Coverage: This bill, S.9080B, sponsored by Senator Michelle Hinchey, prohibits medical malpractice insurers from taking adverse action against a healthcare provider in New York State for performing legal healthcare reproductive services, protecting providers and ensuring that people can safely access abortion and related services in New York State.
- Address Confidentiality Program: This bill, S.9384A, sponsored by Senator Cordell Cleare will expand the eligibility of the Address Confidentiality Program to include reproductive health care services providers, employees, volunteers, patients, or immediate family members of reproductive health care services providers.
- Study of the Impact of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers: This bill, S.470, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, directs the Commissioner of Health to assemble a temporary taskforce to study and issue a report examining the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant people in New York State and the impact of limited service pregnancy centers on the access and quality of care pregnant people receive.
Bill sponsor Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, “In light of SCOTUS’ projected opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, New York must strengthen its standing as a safe haven for people seeking reproductive care. We must protect anyone who travels to New York State to receive an abortion or gender-affirming healthcare from unlawful interference with their rights. The FIRE HATE act gives individuals the opportunity for legal redress by establishing a countersuit. I would like to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for prioritizing this life saving package of bills. While other states turn back the clock on reproductive rights, New York must serve as a beacon of light for those seeking an abortion.”
Bill sponsor Senator Michelle Hinchey said,“Across our country, we are seeing swift action to criminalize reproductive healthcare, laying bare the urgency of this moment for the State of New York to ensure that, no matter what happens at the federal level, we are a safe place for everyone providing and seeking an abortion here. In the State Senate, we’re fighting back by advancing a proactive slate of legislation that will strengthen our fundamental reproductive rights and create equity for our most vulnerable. I’m proud to sponsor a bill as part of this critical package that protects New York medical practitioners from lawsuits should they perform an abortion for a patient whose home state has made this vital healthcare illegal. I will always fight to protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare, and I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to ensure that every person in need of an abortion can find one safely, here in New York.”
Bill sponsor Senator Anna Kaplan said, “With the fate of Roe hanging in the balance, red states across the country are salivating at the opportunity to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare, with many declaring war on doctors who provide reproductive health services. Here in New York, we’re standing up for the rights of women to access reproductive healthcare, and we’re standing up for the rights of doctors to provide the services women rely on – no matter what happens at the Supreme Court. My bill will protect doctors from frivolous actions against their credibility by shameless anti-choice laws in red states, and it will ensure that women subjected to draconian restrictions on their bodies can find safe haven in New York and access health services here without endangering the medical professionals treating them. I’m proud to be the sponsor of this legislation along with my partner Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, and I’m grateful for the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in ensuring that reproductive rights in New York are protected no matter what.”
Bill sponsor Senator Liz Krueger said, “In the face of the Supreme Court’s radical extremist draft opinion, it is now more vital than ever that we explore every avenue to counter the assault on Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies. At this critical moment New York must ensure abortion access both to New Yorkers and refugees from other states who are being denied their basic rights, and we must offer all the protection we can for New York healthcare providers against abhorrent and regressive laws in other states that seek to punish them for providing legal abortion services in New York. This package of bills represents an important first step in making New York a safe haven for those in need of abortion care, those who help them, and those who provide that much-needed care.”
Bill sponsor Senator Brad Hoylman said, “While reproductive rights are under attack nationwide, New York must be a leader in protecting people from violations of their bodily autonomy. This package of bills not only ensures all New Yorkers the right to make the best choice for them and their families but also makes our state a safe haven for women across the country to exercise that right. I am proud that my bill with Assembly Member Glick, S.470, is included in this package. The bill would direct the Commissioner of Health to study and report on unlicensed facilities that offer pregnancy-related services but don’t provide or refer for comprehensive reproductive health care, which would help identify gaps in pregnancy support statewide.”
Georgana Hanson, Interim CEO and President of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts said, “As attacks on abortion and other fundamental rights escalate, New York is taking action to respond. The legislation package passed in the Senate today is an important step forward that helps protect abortion providers and patients, while sending the message that New York will not tolerate interference with our reproductive rights and freedoms. We look forward to seeing the legislature pass an Equality Amendment further guaranteeing the rights that are being errored by the Supreme Court and continuing the important work of protecting and expanding access to care for all who need it. New York has a proud legacy of being a beacon of access, and we are grateful for the actions the Senate has and will take to further that legacy.”
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