Mayor Adams signed off on six new laws Friday aimed at bolstering women’s access to abortions — a response to the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The laws — collectively known as the NYC Abortion Rights Act — will require the city Health Department to provide abortion pills for free to patients seeking to terminate pregnancies, place restrictions on city cash going to the enforcement of abortion restrictions and allow for civil lawsuits against entities interfering with reproductive health care.
“We’re not leaving our sisters behind,” Adams said at the bill signing at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. “Safe, legal abortions are cornerstones of public health, and in New York City, they always will be. We will always support those coming here to access these rights.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — the law that enshrined abortion as a right in America for nearly 50 years — sparked an immediate and massive backlash and has led to questions about how bans on the medical procedure will be enforced, especially in case of rape and incest.
Lawmakers in New York responded with not only new laws like the ones Adams approved Friday, but by making it public that women in other states seeking an abortione are welcome here.
Adams doubled down on that invitation in Brooklyn.
“If your states do not respect your rights, New Yorkers will,” he said.
One of the laws he signed requires the Health Department to report the number of abortions and births each year — for New Yorkers and out-of-towners — to better assess clinicians’ ability to provide adequate reproductive care. That law dictates that any challenges identified be answered with recommendations for improvement.
The two other laws require the city to inform the public about the legal protections available when it comes to getting an abortion and to target similar outreach at so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which seek to talk women out of getting abortions.
“Local governments need to fight like hell to secure safe, legal and easily accessible abortion care for everyone,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan), who sponsored two of the bills. “New York has a long history of championing abortion access, and, today, these bills will strengthen this living legacy.”