New York is on its way to becoming a national abortion “safe haven” with a series of new laws aimed at shielding abortion patients and providers from out-of-state legal actions, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Hochul on Monday signed a package of bills that she and state lawmakers rushed to approve in the final days of session this year ahead of a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade, making New York among the first in the nation to act ahead of the looming federal decision.
“We’ve already seen the threats of anti-abortion violence, and the climate out there is just getting more extreme every single day, and it’s only going to get worse,” Hochul said at an event in Manhattan. “So we need to be ready for that as well. So that’s what we do here in New York. We don’t talk. We act. We don’t follow. We lead. We don’t wait. We get to work.”
Hochul held the event at Cooper Union joined by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, advocates and elected officials. The governor said “the sky is on the verge of falling” in the coming weeks should the draft ruling come to fruition.
“This is the United States of America, where freedom and liberty are supposed to mean something,” she said. “It’s the rock upon which we were founded. It’s supposed to mean something except in the eyes of some Neanderthals, who think women are not entitled to those rights.”
The bills were supported by Hochul and passed easily through both legislative chambers, where Democrats have strong majorities.
The new measures bolster protections for both residents and out-of-state women seeking abortions with an omnibus measure that would block New York courts from issuing subpoenas in connection with out-of-state abortion proceedings; prohibit extradition of abortion providers unless they are alleged to have fled from the demanding state and provide legal protections for New York abortion providers.