Governor Kathy Hochul is asking state agencies to create a public education campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn about state reproductive rights laws, following outcry over new law of Texas banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Hochul called Longhorn State’s decision a “travesty” during a Monday press conference in Central Park, announcing that she wanted the state’s health department to take the reins of developing new health plans. ‘Patients’ Bill of Rights’, to be distributed to medical practices and abortion clinics with information detailing the legal rights available to patients and providers.
“I guarantee you I didn’t know I was pregnant with my first child at six weeks. In fact, I went on a white water rafting trip, it turns out, at three months because I didn’t know not that I was pregnant,” she said, flanked by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Majority Leader of State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and other advocates for the womens rights.
The new rule went into effect Sept. 1 and bars Texas providers from performing abortions after six weeks, despite an urgent blocking request filed by pro-abortion groups in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The US Department of Justice is also suing Texas over the law, following a request from President Joe Biden.
New York’s own laws remain unchanged and were updated in 2019, allowing abortions after 24 weeks in cases where the mother’s health is at risk or in cases where the fetus is unlikely to survive.
It also removed the practice from the Empire State’s criminal code and allows a wider range of medical professionals to perform the procedure, instead of limiting it to only licensed physicians.
“That’s the reality of real people. We don’t always know,” Hochul added.
“I’m glad the Department of Justice is taking Texas to court. I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation on Saturday with Merrick Garland, our Attorney General. I said, ‘we are with you.’
Hochul also wrote a letter to Facebook, urging the tech giant to sanction misinformation on state laws.