Was New York the First State to Legalize Abortion
Planned Parenthood joined the doctors and laity who led the ASA in advocating for abortion law reforms and studies that would improve the safety of abortion procedures. In 1980, in Harris v. McRae, the Supreme Court upheld Hyde in a narrowly divided decision, stating that women`s constitutional rights were not violated by the ban on federal funding for abortions, even though abortion is medically necessary for a person`s health. The Hyde Amendment is a discriminatory and racist policy that prevents federal funds from being used in state insurance programs such as Medicaid for abortion services (except in cases of incest, rape, or life-threatening risk to the pregnant person). Because so many women rely on Medicaid for their health care, the Hyde Amendment made it much harder for low-income women—women of disproportionate color—to have abortions. After Donald Trump became president in 2017, he appointed two new ultra-conservative justices to the Supreme Court — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — and emboldened anti-abortion activists, policymakers, and right-wing anti-feminist judges. As states, particularly in the South and Midwest, pass laws limiting where and when women can terminate their pregnancies, women must rely on surrounding states that have maintained higher levels of access — if they can afford to get there, said Elizabeth Nash, chief of state affairs at the Guttmacher Institute. a reproductive health organization. that supports the right to abortion. To strengthen abortion rights more broadly, advocates are now pushing for the Women`s Health Protection Act, which would ban a number of restrictions on abortion, including viability bans, state mandates for unnecessary procedures and inaccurate advice, barriers to telemedical abortion, TRAP laws and the requirement for additional face-to-face visits to the doctor. Abortion advocate Bill Baird protests outside St. Patrick`s Cathedral in New York City, Monday, March 19, 1984, at the inauguration of new Archbishop John J. O`Connor.
Protesters urged the new archbishop to avoid “inflammatory rhetoric” on the issue of abortion. (David Pickoff/ASSOCIATED PRESS) The growth of medical abortion has coincided with the expansion of telemedicine to provide new opportunities for access to abortion-related health care. As abortion restrictions have increased in recent years and harassment of people entering health clinics continues, people are increasingly turning to medical abortion and telemedicine to increase their safety and privacy during abortion. In response to this change, Republican states quickly began passing anti-abortion laws. According to the Guttmacher Institute, states passed 108 abortion restrictions in 2021, far surpassing the previous post-Roe record of 89 set in 2011. On April 10, 1970, the New York Senate passed a bill that decriminalized abortion in most cases.  Republican Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller signed the bill the next day.
 At the time, New York State was a Republican “Tiercé,” meaning that both houses of the legislature and the governorship were controlled by Republicans.  The 1970 Act did several things. First, it added a consent provision requiring a physician to obtain the woman`s consent before performing an abortion.  Second, it allowed doctors to provide elective abortion services during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy or to preserve her life.  Third, it allowed a woman, on the advice of a duly licensed physician, to perform an “abortion” on herself or to preserve her life within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.  New York was the second state, after Hawaii, to enact landmark abortion laws.  Unlike Hawaii, however, New York`s abortion law did not require a 90-day stay. According to the Guttmacher Institute, since Roe v. Wade of 1973, states have adopted more than 1,300 abortion restrictions (as of 2021). These laws prohibit abortions after a certain gestational age or on the basis of sex, race, or genetic abnormality, prohibit certain abortion methods, impose biased counseling and waiting periods, require unnecessary ultrasounds, restrict access to medical abortions, limit who can provide abortion health care, and impose targeted regulation of abortion providers or TRAP regulations.