Some lawmakers in New York are set to expand reproductive rights and birth control in view of an impending Supreme Court ruling which could spell the end of Roe v. Wade.
The 2019 measure codified Roe into state law and allows a pregnancy to be terminated after 24 weeks if a woman’s life is in danger, or the fetus is not viable. It will enable a licensed or certified health care practitioner to perform abortions.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) promised on Tuesday that she would act in the coming weeks to strengthen abortion rights in the Empire State.
“I’m sure we will not be leaving here without doing additional work to protect, fund, and ensure that women have … full access to their rights,” Stewart-Cousins said.
Sources said one bill getting support in the Democrat-controlled Legislature would expand access to birth control by enabling pharmacists to prescribe and dispense self-administered contraceptives, including birth control pills, vaginal rings, and patches.
The bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) and Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) would allow pharmacists, licensed physicians, certified nurse practitioners, and midwives to prescribe birth control.
Aside from this legislation, a bill establishing a state abortion access fund and enabling New Yorkers to donate to the fund through their income tax returns is also pending in Congress.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul also vowed to protect women’s right to choose, whether they’re New York residents or not.
“We’re not playing defense, we’re playing offense,” Hochul said.
“My message to women all across this country is that the state of New York will always be there for anyone who needs reproductive health care, including an abortion,” Hochul added.