In the News

Commentary: Get the facts on the Reproductive Health Act (Times Union)

Times Union, April 23, 2019

Commentary: Get the facts on the Reproductive Health Act

By Mirah Curzer and Melissa Lee, Co-Chairs of the New York City Bar Association’s Sex and Law Committee

“On the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York took an important step forward in protecting the health and rights of New Yorkers by passing the Reproductive Health Act. The RHA brings the state’s dangerously outdated abortion laws into the 21st century by codifying Roe and thereby protecting abortion access. Yet, in the months following its passage, public discussion about the RHA has reflected several misunderstandings about the act’s scope and impact. It’s time to set the record straight. Before the RHA, New York law allowed women to obtain abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy only if their lives were at risk. The RHA revises the law to allow abortion after 24 weeks in two additional circumstances — when the woman’s health is threatened, or when the fetus is not viable. The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized a woman’s right to obtain an abortion in these circumstances: Under Roe, a woman has the right to obtain an abortion at any point in pregnancy if her life or health is at risk, and states are not permitted to ban abortion prior to viability. The RHA simply brings New York law into compliance with the U.S. Constitution.”

Read more.