Governor Kathy Hochul is working to develop potential legislation and executive actions to strengthen New York’s abortion laws codified into state law and improve protections for out-of-staters and abortion providers.
The governor reiterated in the state Capitol on Tuesday she is “horrified” by the U.S. Supreme Court‘s leaked draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as reported by Politico on Monday night, “And as a woman, this is personal. This is something that we have fought against for my entire life. In fact, this is a battle my mother’s generation, it’s a battle from my generation, my daughter’s generation, and it seems like even my three-day old grandchild Sophia’s generation will have to be fighting this same fight. Something that we had thought we had put to bed a long time ago.”
Hochul has repeatedly said the state will be a safe haven for any person seeking reproductive health care, including an abortion, as several states move to impose sweeping abortion bans if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer.
She said under her direction, the “Department of Health is working closely with experts and advocates to issue regulations to ensure that telemedicine abortion is available here, to offer clear guidance to providers, and provide information to patients about their right to abortion.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she would not rule out a constitutional amendment.
State Senator Liz Krueger sponsored three pieces of legislation to protect abortion providers in New York and women seeking treatment from other states. She added that, “Everything has to be on the table.”
New York passed reproductive rights laws in 1970 — three years before Roe v. Wade — under a Republican majority in the Senate, and with 12 Republicans joining the Democratic majority to vote for the legislation at the time.
State Republican leaders have remained publicly silent about the leaked draft decision.
U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican, is pro-life and supported a bill in Congress to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks and joined his Republican colleagues in 2020 in calling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Hochul presided over the state Senate in 2019 to pass the Reproductive Health Act, which codified protections to legal abortion by any licensed health care practitioner in state law, and permits abortions after 24 weeks if the woman’s life or health is at risk or the fetus is not viable.