New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill on Friday protecting doctors who provide abortion care to patients in other states from legal action.
The law — which expands the use of telehealth for those seeking an abortion – shields doctors from out-of-state litigation by barring state or local government employees in New York from cooperating with individuals or out-of-state agencies “regarding any legally protected health activity” in the state.
“We are witnessing a shameful regression of women’s rights in this country as abortion access is restricted in states across the nation,” Hochul said in a news release. “In New York, we remain committed to ensuring abortion remains safe, accessible, and legal.”
The governor signed the legislation on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — which protected the constitutional right to abortion. In the wake of the ruling, 14 states have enacted near-total bans on abortion, according to The New York Times.
“This legislation will help more women access medication abortion and reproductive care by ensuring our health care providers can deliver telehealth services to out-of-state patients without fear of legal or professional repercussions,” Hochul said.
“With this bill, New York is continuing to fight back against restrictive abortion laws and help more people access the care they need,” she added.
Medication abortions accounted for more than half of all abortions in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute.