New York Governor Passes ‘Landmark’ Legislation Protecting Abortion Access

The six-bill package, passed ahead of the decision that's expected to overturn Roe, offers protections for both abortion patients and providers.

New York statehouse and entrance from the outside.
Last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a six-bill package protecting abortion seekers and providers in the state. Shutterstock

As sweaty as these last few weeks have been while we wait for the inevitable ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we’re focusing on reasons to be hopeful for the future of abortion access. So, for this week’s state’s spotlight, we’re holding up the example set by New York state.

Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul passed a slew of legislation protecting abortion access, including a bill to study the “unmet needs” of pregnant people in the state.

“Reproductive rights are human rights, and today we are signing landmark legislation to further protect them and all who wish to access them in New York State,” Hochul said in a statement.

Sounds pretty good, right?

It is—mostly. The rest of the bills establish protections for New York abortion providers, pregnant people, and anyone who helps them, specifically from attacks from outside the state. The fact that these actions are necessary, though, is a somber reminder that no one is safe.

Conservative lawmakers are ramping up efforts to ban interstate travel for care, and these bills are a direct response to the threats posed against abortion providers and pregnant people.

With the impending reversal of Roe v. Wade, New York is preparing to become a major destination for abortion access in the east as nearby states (ahem, Ohio) move to restrict reproductive health care.

And as more and more states pass unconstitutional abortion bans, those who can travel are left with fewer options and forced to travel hundreds of miles to states like New York that promise to protect them.

The Supreme Court’s anti-abortion majority (aka the #FedSocSix) will not protect abortion as a human right. Sending abortion back to the states will mean that every state, including blue ones, becomes a new legal battleground—and it’s time to pick a side.

This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.