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NEW YORK’S NEW ABORTION LAW

 

What it says and what it means for Roe v. Wade & the current state of U.S. abortion laws.

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ABOUT NY’S NEW LAW:

  • Replaces 1970 (preRoe v. Wade) law permitting abortions after 24 weeks if *only* if mother’s life was at risk.
  • This *new* law allows abortions after *24 weeks *if* mother’s life or health is at risk.
  • Removes criminal penalties for doctors & requirement that licensed physician perform abortion.
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Debate Over The Law

Advocates: protects women’s right to choose; the updated law offers protection *in case* federal law changes.

Critics: law allows termination of pregnancy up until birth with no specific guidelines of when late-term abortion is needed to protect “life or health” of mother; differs to judgment of medical caregiver.

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BIG PICTURE:

  • New York state law follows a recent trend of states trying to get ahead of a more conservative leaning U.S. Supreme Court, where advocates fear abortion rights could be threatened by a legal challenge.
  • Although New York’s law is proactive, in 2018, 23 states passed laws aimed at restricting abortion – the fewest in 10 years.
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ROE v. WADE (1973)

  • Supreme Court held that state law banning abortions except to save mother’s life was unconstitutional.
  • Court ruled 14th’s Amendment right to privacy extends to right to obtain an abortion until fetal viability – leaving it to states to decide when it’s medically appropriate post-viability.
  • *If* overturned, abortion rights could be governed state by state.
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The CDC shows late-term abortions are extremely rare (about 1%). In recent years, abortion rates have declined nationwide and in New York. However, in New York, about a quarter of the pregnancies in the state end in abortion.

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