New York passes bill expanding abortion access

New York passes bill expanding abortion access
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Lawmakers in New York on Tuesday approved legislation expanding women's access to abortions in the state.

The Reproductive Health Act passed the state Senate by a vote of 38-24 and the state Assembly by a 92-47 vote, according to The Buffalo News.

The legislation was then signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

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The legislation had previously been blocked for years by Republicans but was easily approved by Democrats, who now control both chambers of the state legislature.

The bill allows women to get abortions after 24 weeks if their life or health is threatened by the pregnancy in addition to permitting women to have an abortion at any time if the fetus is not viable, according to syracuse.com.

The law also regulates abortion under public health law, rather than criminal law, and allows licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants and licensed midwives to conduct abortions, syracuse.com reported.

In a statement, Cuomo praised the passage of the legislation, calling it a "giant step forward."

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

Cuomo has previously expressed fear that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion.