Merle Hoffman raises her trademark hanger outside St. Patricks Cathedral in New York in 1989. This was the first pro-choice civil disobedience action in history.
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The New Reproductive Health Act (RHA) in New York State – What Does it Mean for You?

Merle Hoffman fights to keep abortion safe and legal with Bill Baird

The first thing you need to know is that in New York State abortion services to 24 weeks of pregnancy will remain available and accessible to all women and teens with no restrictions. Choices has been proud to offer these services in complete confidentiality since 1971.

Now, in 2019, New York State has brought abortion availability into line with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Now, abortions past 24 weeks are allowed in cases when a women’s health is in danger or when her fetus is not viable (could not live outside the womb) for whatever reason. Before the RHA, State law only allowed abortions after 24 weeks if the woman’s life is in jeopardy.

Even if Roe were someday to be overturned, abortion throughout a woman’s pregnancy would still be legal in New York State so long as these conditions were met.

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) does several other things.

  • The RHA puts abortion and abortion regulations within the realm of public health law, like all medical practices and procedures, and takes them out of the state’s criminal code.
  • The RHA expands who can perform the procedure from beyond just physicians to any licensed, certified or authorized health care practitioner (licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and licensed midwives) for whom abortion is within their scope of practice.

We cheer the New York State Legislature for passing the Reproductive Health Act, and pledge to do our part in keeping abortion safe and accessible.

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