New York Gov. Hochul indicators invoice into regulation to guard abortion tablet suppliers

Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a press conference at the office at 633 3rd Avenue on media availability and makes an announcement on abortion rights. Governor Hochul updated the media on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced more funding to provide on-demand abortions, provided updates on the monkeypox situation, and urged companies across the country to act based on the laws in the Upstate New York from equal rights, abortion rights and a friendly business climate.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill on Friday that would legally protect doctors who prescribe and send abortion pills to patients living in other states where the procedure is banned.

The measure allows New York City abortion providers to serve more out-of-state patients without fear of litigation.

This could help expand access to medical abortion nationwide, allowing more patients to terminate their pregnancy without having to travel to states where the practice is legal.

Medical abortion, which typically involves taking the pills mifepristone and misoprostol together, accounts for about half of all abortion procedures in the US

More than a dozen states have introduced near-total abortion bans since the Supreme Court ruled a year ago to uphold the landmark Roe v. Wade, ending half a century of federal abortion rights. Many government bans penalize people who assist with an abortion.

Reproductive rights will take center stage in the 2024 election, with both parties seeking to capitalize on the divisive issue. More than 60% of registered voters disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, according to an NBC News poll released earlier this month.

“We are witnessing a shameful regression in women’s rights in this country as access to abortion is restricted in states across the country,” Hochul said in a press release. “With this law, New York continues to oppose restrictive abortion laws and allow more people to access the care they need.”

Specifically, the bill aims to protect New York physicians who use telehealth systems that allow them to care for patients residing in other states. Similar telemedicine abortion laws have been enacted in Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont and Washington.

The New York measure would bar state law enforcement agencies from cooperating in out-of-state litigation against doctors who use telemedicine services to prescribe medical abortions or provide other reproductive health care.

The bill builds on similar legislation passed last year that aimed to protect New York City abortion service providers from litigation but did not specifically address telehealth.

“You want to prosecute, fine or sue one of our healthcare providers?” Hochul said at a news conference on Friday. “Well, we won’t help you.”

“You can keep working hard to continue this radical behavior,” the governor said. “But we will definitely try to stop you. This is New York.”

The bill comes at a time when Conservatives have an unresolved legal battle over the fate of mifepristone.

A group of anti-abortion doctors sued the Food and Drug Administration last November to completely remove mifepristone from the US market.

Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in the Northern District of Texas ruled in favor of the doctors in April, suspending FDA approval.

The Supreme Court intervened in the case and preserved access to mifepristone as the litigation progressed.

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