NY Gov. Hochul creates abortion 'sanctuary' with six extensive laws

Conservative and religious groups slammed the laws

Updated: June 14, 2022 - 4:50pm

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New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed six bills into law on Monday aimed at protecting abortion in her state in anticipation of the Supreme Court's possible overturn of the landmark abortion precedent set in Roe. v. Wade. 

One law, "Freedom from Interference with Reproductive Healthcare Access,"  will protect people seeking an abortion or sex change treatment in the state.

"Today, New York is one step closer to becoming a true sanctuary state for those seeking healthcare no matter the circumstances. While other states are looking to criminalize abortion and gender-affirming care, New York continues to reaffirm its commitment to reproductive justice and serve as a model for the rest of our nation," state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D) said in a press release

Another law signed Monday prohibits insurance companies from bringing medical malpractice lawsuits against abortion providers "solely on the basis that the health care provider performs an abortion or provides reproductive health care that is legal in the state of New York on someone who is from out of the state."

In a statement, Hochul stressed how the bill was focused on abortion providers.

"Today, we are taking action to protect our service providers from the retaliatory actions of anti-abortion states and ensure that New York will always be a safe harbor for those seeking reproductive healthcare. New York has always been a beacon for those yearning to be free. And I want the world to hear — loud and clear — that will not change," she said.

Conservative and religious groups slammed the laws.

"Imagine wanting to lead the nation in killing babies," LifeNews.com wrote in response to the legislation.

The Catholic Diocese of Rochester posted a statement on Twitter from Kristen Curran, the NYS Catholic Conference government relations director. 

"At a time when women and children need more support than ever, we are disappointed to see New York continue to focus on promoting abortion. This package of bills seeks to encourage abortion tourism, rather than helping women and children who may be in need. As a state that claims to value autonomy and choice, New York should stop presenting abortion as the best and only option for struggling women, and harassing any pro-life pregnancy center that may help women keep their babies. This abortion-or-nothing narrative only demeans women," Curran said.