Let’s Pass the Reproductive Health Act. New York is ready for the Reproductive Health Act.
Our State Assembly has a strong pro-choice majority and more than 70% of New Yorkers support passage of the Reproductive Health Act.
In 1970, New York was one of the first states in the nation to permit safe and legal abortion, greatly reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. Although groundbreaking at the time, the law does not contain a health exception and needs to be strengthened to safeguard women's health and rights.
The current climate surrounding women’s health care nationwide makes it more important than ever to update New York’s law by passing the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). National health care reform contains significant restrictions on insurance coverage that would considerably limit access to abortion care. More recently, some states have passed new laws restricting abortion access.
In April, Arizona’s Governor signed into law a restriction on abortion to low-income women who receive state-financed health care, providing no exception to protect a women’s health. This law also prohibits private insurers and companies from covering abortion procedures. In many cases, women without insurance coverage take longer to raise needed funds and, therefore, seek abortion care later in pregnancy, which carries more risk for complications.
Also in April, Nebraska’s Governor signed into law two bills believed to be the first of their kind in the country. One requires a woman to be screened for mental health and other problems before having an abortion; the other restricts access to abortion later in pregnancy without a health exception. If a legal challenge to any one of these laws reaches the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade could be further eroded or, possibly, overturned.
While other states are running away from reproductive rights, New York lawmakers must, once again, take the lead to ensure that women have access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) guarantees a woman's ability to make her own reproductive health decisions. This legislation:
- Ensures that a woman will be able to have an abortion if her health is endangered.
- Regulates abortion care in public health law rather than in the criminal code.
- Guarantees everyone the right to use or refuse contraception.
We need your help now. Ask your Assemblymember and Senators to pass the RHA.
We have the chance to strengthen our laws and protect women’s reproductive health and rights. Take action now.