Unpacking the Legal Landscape: Abortion Laws in New York Explained

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Abortion is an incredibly touchy subject for many. It can be difficult to find information on abortion that isn’t polluted with biased opinions, so it is important, especially as a woman, to become familiar with the specific laws of abortion in your state.

For those residing in the Empire State, let’s dive into the legal landscape of abortion laws in New York so you can feel informed and prepared to make the right choice for you.

A Brief History of Abortion Laws in New York

New York has a rich history when it comes to abortion laws. Before the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 1973, New York was one of the few states allowing access to safe and legal abortion. This liberal approach to women’s reproductive rights set a strong foundation for our rights today.

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Current Legal Status of Abortion in New York

Abortion is legal in New York. However, abortion is restricted in New York and other states. Right now, abortion is legal in New York until “viability,” which is the stage of pregnancy when a fetus has developed enough to survive outside the uterus with medical help. It usually happens around 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy, but a healthcare provider can help determine whether a pregnancy has reached viability.

If your pregnancy is at or past the stage of “viability,” you’ll need to travel out of New York to get an abortion unless you qualify for an exception. The only exceptions are to save the pregnant person’s life or to preserve the pregnant person’s general health, which can include mental health.

Understanding Your Rights

Knowing your rights is crucial to accessing any healthcare service, including abortion. In New York, your right to privacy and informed consent is protected. This means you have the right to understand all your options and make a decision that’s best for you. 

New York does not require you to attend a counseling session or go through a waiting period before getting an abortion, and ifyou’re younger than 18, you can consent to an abortion and do not have to notify your parents or legal guardians.

Access to Abortion Services in New York

Fortunately, access to abortion services is widespread throughout New York state. There may also be some financial assistance or insurance coverage for abortion services available, depending on your specific circumstances.

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Challenges and Threats to Abortion Access

While New York stands strong in its commitment to reproductive rights, it’s not immune to challenges. Federal laws and Supreme Court rulings can impact New York’s laws. So, staying informed and engaged in the discussion is more important than ever. Knowing the legal landscape of abortion laws in New York can empower you to make the best decisions about your reproductive health. It’s about more than just understanding the laws—it’s about understanding your rights, options, and access to care.

At South Avenue Women’s Services, we’ve been serving the women in our community since 1973. Our Rochester, NY-based full-service well-woman and family planning OBGYN clinic has been a safe haven for thousands of women seeking safe abortions. Over the years, we have established an outstanding safety record with an exceptionally low rate of complications. We are experts in medical and surgical abortions in Rochester and the surrounding areas.

Medical abortions and surgical abortions are never easy decisions, which is why providing safe, secure, compassionate women’s services is and has always been our goal. Contact us at (585)271-3850 to schedule an appointment and learn more about your options regarding abortion in NYS.