New York's new law allows abortion till due date if mother's health is at risk

Pregnant woman examining by a doctor with a stethoscope
Photo credit: Getty.

New York state has passed a controversial new law to ensure stronger legal protection for abortion rights.

Previous state law, which had been in action for almost 50 years, allowed access to late abortions if the pregnant person's life was at risk.

Under new law these restrictions are eased, allowing people access to late-term abortions if their health was in danger, reported the Associated Press (AP).

In the United States, abortion is considered late after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

New York state leaders said the change in law was necessary to ensure abortion rights were protected for their citizens if the US Supreme court decides to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Roe vs Wade was a 1973 decision by the US Supreme Court that ruled bans on abortion were unconstitutional and made abortions legal in many circumstances.

On Wednesday (local time) the Bill was signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

It is facing criticism from Christian and conservative organisations who are unhappy that pregnant people in certain health or life-threatening circumstances can abort up to the baby's due date.

The New York State Catholic Conference released a statement saying it was a "sad chapter" for the state.

"We pray in a special way for the lives that will be lost, and for the women of our state who are made less safe under this law."

But Mr Cuomo said the signing of the Bill was a "victory".

"I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session - and we got it done."

AP reports nine other states including California, Washington and Oregon have similar abortion rights protections in place should Roe vs Wade be overturned.


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