Gov. Kathy Hochul is directing state agencies to create a public information campaign aimed at encouraging New Yorkers to read up on the state’s reproductive rights laws, following uproar over Texas’ new law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Hochul called the Longhorn state’s move a “travesty” during a press conference Monday in Central Park, announcing she wants the state Health Department to take the reins on devising a ‘patient bill of rights,’ to be distributed to doctor’s offices and abortion clinics with information detailing the legal rights available to patients and providers.
“I guarantee I did not know I was pregnant with my first child at six weeks. I actually went on a whitewater rafting trip, it turns out, at three months because I didn’t know I was pregnant,” she said, flanked by US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, state Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and other women’s rights advocates.
The new rule took effect Sept. 1 and prohibits Texas providers from conducting abortion procedures after the six-week mark — despite an emergency request to block it filed by pro-abortion groups with the U.S. Supreme Court.
New York’s own laws remain unchanged and were updated in 2019, allowing abortions after the 24-week mark in cases where the mother’s health is endangered or in cases where the fetus is deemed unlikely to survive.
It also removed the practice from the Empire State’s penal code and permits a wider array of medical professionals to perform the procedure, instead of limiting it to just licensed physicians.
“That is 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 a chance to have a brief conversation on Saturday with Merrick Garland, our Attorney General. I said, ‘we’re with you.’”
Hochul also penned a letter to Facebook, urging the tech giant to sanction misinformation about the state’s laws.