The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) Fact Sheet

  1. The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) passed the NYS Senate & Assembly on January 22, 2019, and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
  2. Abortion is a legal right under Roe v. Wade, and the RHA brings NY law into line with the Roe
  3. The RHA is the codification of Roe v Wade into New York Law – Nothing more and nothing less.
  4. The RHA updates New York law by decriminalizing abortion, safeguarding abortion rights, and ensuring improved access to reproductive healthcare in the State.
  5. The RHA does NOT force any provider to offer abortion services where a personal objection exists. It leaves conscious protections as they were.
  6. The RHA removes abortion from the criminal code and places it into health law where it belongs. New York now treats abortion as healthcare, not a criminal act. Before the RHA, New York was one of only 7 states that criminalized self-managed abortion. No other medical procedure is regulated as a crime, and abortion should be no different.
  7. The RHA permits abortion after 24 weeks ONLY when the health or life of the mother is at risk or the fetus is not viable. This assessment must be made by a qualified, licensed medical provider. Before the passage of the RHA, women were forced to leave New York State if their health or life were in danger, or the fetus was not viable after 24 weeks. Now, with the passage of the RHA, New York women can stay in New York to receive the healthcare they need.
  8. The RHA did not remove a doctor’s duty to protect any persons in their care, and in fact, it permits them to fulfill that duty. The RHA does nothing to remove rights from any persons born and alive, under any circumstances. If someone is born and alive, that person receives all of the various protections of our civil and criminal law.
  9. The RHA makes sure that throughout pregnancy, the woman’s health drives important medical decisions. The RHA, like under Roe, ensures that if serious medical complications arise in pregnancy, doctors have access to the full range of medical treatment options, including C-section, induction, or abortion if that is the safest course of action. The decision of which treatment will be based on the woman’s specific medical condition, and not determined by medically unnecessary requirements or political interference.
  10. The RHA allows ONLY licensed, qualified medical professionals to perform abortions. This allows early abortion services to be performed in New York State by licensed, highly skilled, qualified health care providers whose scope of practice includes pregnancy-related care. 16 states allow these Advanced Practice Clinicians to provide early abortion care and most abortions happen early in pregnancy. The majority occur during the first trimester with 66% performed in the first eight weeks.
  11. The RHA does not change the ability to bring charges against perpetrators of violent crimes against pregnant women. Pregnant victims of violent attack will still have legal recourse. ________________________________________________________________________
    *73% of New Yorkers supported codifying the Roe standard into state law.
    *66% of abortions occur by 6 weeks of pregnancy.
    *89% of all abortions occur by 12 weeks of pregnancy
    *1.3% of abortions occur after 21 weeks of pregnancy.
    *59% of women getting abortions are already mothers.
    *1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the time they turn 45.

    For more information, please go to
    Please pay special attention to the article “We are Later Abortion Patients”