New York passes state law to protect doctors prescribing abortion pills

The law comes a year after the US Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion.


New York’s Democratic-majority state legislature announced Tuesday that it had passed a bill to provide legal protection to doctors prescribing and shipping abortion pills to patients in states that ban the procedure.

The bill has yet to be signed into law by the state’s governor, Democrat Kathy Hochul, who has previously expressed support for such protections.

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“It is our moral obligation to help women across the country with their bodily autonomy by protecting New York doctors from litigation efforts from anti-choice extremists,” said Carl Heastie, speaker of the New York State Assembly, in a statement.

The law comes a year after the US Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion. The change allowed lawmakers to legislate on the issue at the state level and ushered in a slew of bans or severe restrictions in more than 20 states.

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Under the new law, doctors operating in New York state who provide abortion pills — or telehealth consultations to women who get abortions — would be protected from prosecution in states where abortion restrictions are in place.

The New York legislation could benefit doctor Linda Prine, known for having founded an emergency hotline that women can call from anywhere in the US for medical advice regarding reproductive health.

According to Prine, the Supreme Court’s decision has caused a “huge increase” in the number of calls.

ALSO READ: Florida bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy

Since the Supreme Court decision, Washington state, Massachusetts, Colorado and Vermont have passed laws to protect their doctors in cases related to abortion.

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