Abortion Laws in New York

Abortion in the U.S. has been legal in every state since the famous Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973. However, each state can impose its own regulations and restrictions.

Abortion Laws icon

As early as 1970, New York passed the most permissive abortion law in the country, making it an abortion refuge for those seeking to assert their right to choose.

The state does not demand waiting periods, or mandated parental involvement, nor does it place limitations on publicly funded abortions.  If you choose to have an abortion, you will not have to get the consent of your partner or your parents. Your body. Your choice.

If you are a minor under the age of 18 and able to give informed consent, you do not need the permission of your parent or guardian to get an abortion. By informed consent is meant being able to understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives related to having the abortion. This includes the option of not having one.

Even with fewer restrictions, the State of New York does have laws defining and regulating abortion.

New York Abortion Laws
All states, including New York, have some abortion regulations and abortion restrictions.

Laws pertaining to abortion are listed under code sections: Penal §125.05, §125.20, §125.40-60; Pub. Health §4164

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

  • The abortion takes place within the first 24 weeks or when it is thought to be necessary for preserving the mother’s life.
  • If performed by the mother, the abortion must be on the advice of an M.D. and done within the first 24 weeks, or to preserve her own life.

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

  • Failure to meet the standards for legal abortion
  • If the abortion causes the patient to die
  • If the abortion is not performed within the first 24 weeks
  • Administering or taking drugs with intent to cause a miscarriage

New York Codes Regarding Abortion
As an extra thought for the welfare and protection of the patient, the state of New York regards any abortion as illegal if it results in a patient dying. The New York state legislature wants to ensure that abortions are as safe as possible. The law encourages doctors to be as diligent as possible when it comes to the mother’s safety.

Performed After the First Twenty Four Weeks
Abortions are illegal if they are performed after the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.

Drugs and Medicine That Cause an Abortion
New York law makes it illegal to administer or take drugs with the intent to cause a miscarriage. This indicates that the New York legislature prefers that abortions are performed in the safety of a hospital.

Preserving the Mother’s Life
New York state law allows a mother to get an abortion outside the 24-week period if terminating the pregnancy is necessary to preserve the mother’s life.

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion in New York
As with any law, the State of New York has specific penalties for performing an illegal abortion.

Consent Requirements
None, other than that of the patient.

While most states require at least one parent’s involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion, and other states require both parents to consent to an abortion procedure, New York requires no additional consent, other than that of the person having the procedure.

Waiting Period
None. Almost half of the states require a woman to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion. A few also require a woman to visit a clinic more than once between the initial consultation and the actual abortion procedure. There is no such mandatory waiting period in New York.

Physician Licensing Requirements
Must be performed by a licensed M.D.

Residency Requirements for Patients
None. Women residing in New York, as well as many from out of state, can legally have an abortion procedure delivered to them in the state.

Federal Laws as Defined by the Supreme Court

In Roe v. Wade (1973) the United States Supreme Court voted 7-2 that a law criminalizing abortion violated a woman’s right to privacy. However, the Court also held that states do have an interest in ensuring the safety and well-being of pregnant women, as well as the potential of human life.

The Ruling
The Court defined the rights of both the individual and the state by dividing pregnancy into three 12-week trimesters:

During a pregnant woman’s first trimester, the Court held, a state cannot regulate abortion beyond requiring that the procedure be performed by a licensed doctor in medically safe conditions.

During the second trimester, the Court held, a state may regulate abortion if the regulations are reasonably related to the health of the pregnant woman.

During the third trimester of pregnancy, the state’s interest in protecting the potential human life outweighs the woman’s right to privacy. As a result, the state may prohibit abortions unless an abortion is necessary to save the life or health of the mother.

The Court further held that a fetus is not a person protected by the Constitution.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Care
Having an abortion can be made far easier and less stressful by choosing the right medical practice; one that has highly experienced and caring Board Certified gynecologists who understand what you’re going through and provide compassionate, expert care.

Besides the right medical staff, the facility you select should offer state-of-the-art abortion methods, rides to and from the facility, minimal waiting time to see a physician, private rooms and a safe and comfortable environment.

Eastside Gynecology in NYC is such a facility, offering quality care, rides to and from the facility, and VIP rooms for privacy and comfort.

If you are pregnant and are considering abortion, you are not alone. Each year, women of diverse backgrounds, races, religions, and economic levels in the United States obtain abortions.  Approximately 100,000 abortions are provided in New York each year to both New York residents and women arriving from others states.

Abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States. Less than 0.05% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication.

Women who reside in New York and many who live elsewhere need and want the safe haven this state provides. Eastside Gynecology, based in New York City is one such haven, offering compassionate, experienced care.