In yet another attack on the sanctity of unborn human life, the New York State Legislature has passed and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has signed into law the Tele-Abortionist Protection Act (Bill S.1066-B-Mayer/A.1709-B-Reyes).
The purpose of the Tele-Abortionist Protection Act is to allow New York abortion providers to evade the consequences of violating the abortion laws of other states. Specifically, the bill will permit abortion providers to use telehealth (defined in the sponsors’ memorandum as “the provision of professional health care service over geographical distances by means of modern telecommunications technology”) to facilitate pill abortions for out-of-staters without fear of extradition, arrest, professional discipline, or malpractice insurance consequences. According to the bill memorandum, “[as] many states across the country have enacted abortion bans and draconian reproductive rights restrictions following the Dobbs decision, this bill fills an important gap by safeguarding health care practitioners in New York from out-of-state activities that impede upon [sic] their ability to provide necessary reproductive health services to patients… This bill will strengthen New York’s role as a nation-wide leader in reproductive rights, creating new avenues for those who live in states with severe abortion restrictions.”
The State Senate passed this legislation on May 30, 2023 by a 39-22 vote. On June 20, the State Assembly passed it by a vote of 98-47. On an encouraging note, all Assembly Republicans who were present voted against the bill. They were joined by three brave Democrats: Asms. Marianne Buttenschon (D-Marcy), Simcha Eichenstein (D-Brooklyn), and Jaime Williams (D-Brooklyn). Gov. Kathy Hochul, who can best be described as a pro-abortion zealot, quickly signed it into law on June 23, 2023.