Friday, April 27, 2007
Spitzer Pushing Bill to Shore Up Abortion Rights
NEW YORK TIMES DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY, April 25 — Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday that he planned to introduce legislation to overhaul the state’s pioneering but antiquated abortion law, shoring up abortion rights in New York.
The proposal follows the United States Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, at a time when several other states are moving to tighten restrictions on abortion.
New York took an early role in legalizing abortion, and the governor’s plan could take on much broader significance if the Supreme Court ever returns abortion law to the discretion of the states. Still, it is far from certain that the legislation will pass the Republican-led State Senate.
Mr. Spitzer’s bill, the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, would update current law, which, for example, does not include a provision allowing for abortions late in pregnancies to protect a woman’s health. New York state laws on the books also treat abortion as a homicide, but with broad exceptions that allow the procedure in many cases.
Mr. Spitzer’s proposal would remove abortion from criminal statutes and make it a matter of professional and medical discretion. It would also repeal an old statute “that criminalizes, among other things, providing nonprescription contraception to minors,” according to the governor’s office. For the rest of this article...........click here..........andy