Whatever the Supreme Court decides, NY protects access to abortion in a 2019 law

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Whatever decision the supreme court makes, the right to an abortion is the law in New York.

In 2019, the state passed the Reproductive Health Act. It means the rights under Roe versus Wade are the law in New York. I asked Katharine Bodde, the assistant policy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), to explain it.

"That affirmatively protects abortion rights in New York State’s law," Bodde said. "What it did is it actually removed abortion from the criminal code since abortion was last legislated in 1970 it lived in our homicide code actually."

The state removed abortion as a homicide and put it into the public health law. It also protects doctors and clinics that provide abortions.

"Our state will protect women no matter what happens in the other states or even in the Supreme Court," said Jaclyn Richard, former president of Rochester NOW, the local chapter of the National Organization of Women.

Richard has a toddler granddaughter living with her son in Georgia.

Brean: "What’s you’ve seen, watched and read over the last 12 hours or so, does that cause you concern?"

Richard: "Oh! Oh, I’m so concerned that I almost was in tears because every woman deserves the right of autonomy on their own body. Who has the right to say yes or no to what they want to do with their body?"

There’s also a bill in the State Senate that would make being pregnant a protected class in New York and protect pregnancy decisions.
There hasn’t been a single vote on that yet.

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