Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York signed six bills on June 13 to expand legal protection for abortion providers and women seeking out abortions, essentially turning the state into an "abortion sanctuary" in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision.
The legislative package will allow abortion providers to file complaints against anyone who sues or brings charges against them and will prohibit state courts from cooperating with out-of-state civil and criminal investigations into abortion providers.
The laws will also prohibit professional misconduct charges against providers, prohibit medical malpractice insurance companies from taking action against providers, and allow employees, patients, volunteers, and immediate family members of abortion providers to enroll in the state's address confidentiality program.
Hochul also directed the New York State Department of Health to "issue a report examining the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant people in New York" and the impact of "limited service" pregnancy centers.
Republicans and pro-life activists have long criticized the decision as an infringement on states’ rights and have worked diligently to have the case overturned.
A recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion pointed to the conservative majority overturning the 1973 decision. Twenty-six states may restrict or ban the practice once there is a final ruling, which is expected shortly.
About 26 percent of pregnancies in New York ended in abortion during 2019, without taking miscarriages into account. Almost 9 percent of all abortions that took place in the state were performed on out-of-state residents.