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New York Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal in New York through 24 weeks. Thereafter, abortion is legal when the fetus is not viable or when necessary to protect the patient's life or health.

New York Abortion Law After Dobbs

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, ended the constitutional right to abortion by overturning the landmark case of Roe v. Wade. As a result, authority returned to the states to regulate and even prohibit abortion.

New York abortion laws are less restrictive than those in many other states which may impose waiting periods, detailed consent and counseling mandates, and other regulations on abortion clinics and other health care providers.

New York enacted a state law legalizing abortion as early as 1970, before the Supreme Court's decision in Roe. In 2019, the state legislature passed The Reproductive Health Act. This law expanded protections for abortion access, allowing certain healthcare professionals who aren't doctors to provide abortion services.

The law also broadened the list of legal exceptions for performing an abortion past 24 weeks. As a result, abortion is available throughout pregnancy when a fetus is no longer viable or to protect the pregnant patient's life or health. This can include her mental health.

As abortion was already legal in New York under state law, the Dobbs decision had no immediate effect on abortion providers in the state.

After Dobbs, the state of New York enacted shield laws to protect those seeking an abortion in New York from civil and criminal litigation from their home state. This includes patients using telehealth services from a New York medication abortion provider.

The New York State Health Commissioner and Governor have also taken steps to expand access to contraception, authorizing pharmacists to dispense three types of hormonal contraceptive medication without a prescription.

New York also prohibits interference with healthcare services. It has specific criminal laws to prevent individuals from interfering with or blocking access to those seeking reproductive health care services, including abortion.

Insurance Coverage And Abortion

Efforts to restrict public funding for abortion gained ground in the 1970s after the Supreme Court decision in Roe made abortion legal nationwide. Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of Medicaid insurance funds to cover abortion except when the abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother.

The Hyde Amendment remains today, although it now permits the use of Medicaid funds for abortions in cases of rape and incest.

Several states, including New York, enacted laws to use state funds to expand Medicaid coverage for all reproductive health care for low-income patients, including abortion. You can locate more information about abortion funds on the New York State Department of Health website.

New York also modified its insurance laws, requiring private insurers in the state to offer coverage for medically necessary abortions (New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations, Title 11, Section 52.16-0).

New York Abortion Laws At A Glance

The table below provides a helpful summary of the basic provisions of New York abortion laws.

Relevant New York Abortion Statutes (Laws)

New York Consolidated Laws, Chapter 45, Public Health Law, Article 25a, Reproductive Health Act

New York Consolidated Laws, Chapter 40, Penal Law, Article 240, Offenses Against Public Order

  • Section 240.70 - Criminal interference with health care services in the second degree
  • Section 240.71 - Criminal interference with health care services in the first degree
  • Section 240.72 - Aggravated interference with health care services in the second degree
  • Section 240.73 - Aggravated interference with health care services in the first degree

When Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion is legal within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. After 24 weeks, abortion is legal when there is an absence of fetal viability or when necessary to protect the patient's life or health.

Consent Requirements

There are no specific requirements outside standard patient consent for health care treatment or procedure.

Is Medication Abortion Available?

Yes. Medication abortion services are available in New York.

Residency Requirements

None. Out-of-state residents can obtain abortion care in New York.

Criminal Penalties for Unlawful Abortion

There are no criminal penalties associated with abortion in New York for the pregnant person or anyone providing abortion services.

Physician Licensing Requirements

Any health care practitioner that is licensed or authorized under Title VIII of the Education Law (Section 6500, et seq.) may perform an abortion if it is within the scope of their practice. In addition to MDs, this could also include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts that include federal decisions, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of any state law(s) you are reviewing.

How Does New York Compare To Other States?

New York does not set up barriers to reproductive health care, including the decision to end a pregnancy. If you choose to have an abortion, you won't have to get the consent of your partner, parent, or guardian. There is no mandated counseling or waiting period before access to abortion services.

In contrast, since the fall of Roe, some 14 states now have near-total abortion bans. Two other states prohibit legal abortion after about 6 weeks.

Abortion law often tracks the politics of state lawmakers. As of 2024 in Albany, majorities in both the state senate and the state assembly belong to the Democratic Party and support reproductive rights. The Governor of the state is also a Democrat.

A Note About Medication Abortion

Medication abortion most often occurs via a two-drug regimen of abortion pills. As of 2024, mifepristone, the first drug, is the subject of a legal challenge by abortion opponents who filed suit in Texas.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of mifepristone in 2000. In more recent rulings, the FDA amended its rules for prescribing and distributing abortion medications. New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined several other governors in filing an amicus brief in the case supporting the independent scientific authority of the FDA in the area of medications.

An injunction from the Texas case has been placed on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court has permitted the use of the drug while the case is pending. A final court decision on the case is expected in 2024.

Research The Law

Get Legal Help With Abortion-Related Concerns

Navigating changes in abortion laws can be difficult. If you would like to know more about the laws governing abortion in New York, consider seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney. A family law attorney can discuss your reproductive rights and legal options in New York. You can contact a New York attorney today to learn more.

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