New York just signed a bill to protect women’s reproductive rights even if Roe v. Wade gets overturned

Yesterday, January 22nd, was the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. In those 46 years, the ruling has been continually challenged, and with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, many Americans now worry that it could be overturned. However, there is some good news: New York has passed the Reproductive Health Act—a new law designed to protect New Yorkers’ right to legal abortions.

According to HuffPost, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the law today, January 23rd, after it passed through the state legislature on January 22nd. The act not only keeps abortion legal statewide but also decriminalizes abortions performed after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Under the new law, abortions after that point are permitted if the pregnant person’s life or health are threatened, or if the fetus is not viable. CBS New York notes that the Reproductive Health Act will also allow nurses to perform abortions and end criminal charges for physically “harming” an unborn child. HuffPost points out that the act was first introduced back in 2006, but Republicans in the state legislature have delayed its passage—until now.

In a press release, Cuomo celebrated the passing of the new legislation.

"Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion," his statement read. "With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body."

New York’s new abortion law is a huge victory in the fight for reproductive freedom. But with Planned Parenthood funding at risk and states continuing to pass heartbeat bills, it’s clear there’s still a long way to go. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before other states protect this human right, too.

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