Intended for healthcare professionals


New York State moves to protect women’s abortion rights

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 31 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l520
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The New York State legislature has passed the Reproductive Health Act to protect a woman’s right to abortion if the increasingly conservative Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973. The act was immediately signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

New York was one of the earliest states to make abortion legal: it did so in 1970, before the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade. But, with two conservative justices appointed to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, the chance of Roe v Wade being overturned has increased. If that happened regulation of abortion would fall to the individual states.

Eighteen states have laws that …

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