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New York Abortion Laws

New York abortion laws are less restrictive than those in many other states, which often impose long waiting periods, consent requirements, strict facility codes, and other statutory obstacles. The Empire State requires a licensed doctor to perform the procedure. But all states, including New York, have some abortion restrictions.

The table below lists the basic provisions of New York abortion laws, with a more in-depth look following. See Abortion Laws and Abortion Rights FAQs to learn more.

Code Section Penal §125.05, §125.20, §125.40-60; Pub. Health §4164
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion (1) Failure to meet standards for legal abortion; (2) if causes mother to die; (3) if not within first 24 weeks; (4) administering or taking drugs or any other manner with intent to cause a miscarriage
Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion Within first 24 weeks or necessary to preserve mother's life; if mother performs abortion it must be on the advice of M.D. within the first 24 weeks or to preserve her own life
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion If not justifiable abortional act and after 24 wks., Class E or D felony; if woman dies from act, Class B felony; self-abortion or issuing abortion articles, Class B or A misdemeanor
Consent Requirements -
Residency Requirements for Patients -
Physician Licensing Requirements Licensed M.D.; after 12th wk., must be in hospital on in-patient basis. After 20th wk., 2nd M.D. must be present to handle medical care of any live birth

Prohibited Abortions in New York

New York does not have as many barriers to terminating a pregnancy, like some other states. If you choose to have an abortion, you will not have to get the consent of your partner or your parents if you are 18. As well, there is no "cooling off" period in New York. However, there are a few basic requirements that the Supreme Court of the United States has not invalidated for being too intrusive.

The Mother Dies

Abortions are illegal if the abortion causes the mother to die. This is primarily focused at the doctors and physicians who perform abortions. The New York state legislature wants to ensure that abortions are as safe as possible for the mother. This law encourages doctors to be as diligent as possible when it comes to the mother's safety. It is important to note that the doctor does not have to be "negligent" in order to violate this requirement.

After the First Twenty Four Weeks

Abortions are illegal if they are performed after the first twenty four weeks of pregnancy. One of the justifications for this requirement is that it is a balance between the safety of the mother, and giving her time to consider an abortion. Arguably, a mother could be able to make the decision to have an abortion within the first twenty four weeks of pregnancy. After those first twenty four weeks, nearly the end of the second trimester, the risk of harm to the mother increases greatly.

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

Even outside the twenty four week window for an abortion, New York state law allows a mother to get an abortion if terminating the pregnancy is necessary to preserve the mother's life.

Penalties for Abortion

New York state law makes an illegal abortion a Class E or D felony. If the mother dies from the abortion, the doctor has committed a class B felony. A self-performed abortion, and distributing abortion articles, are class B or A misdemeanors.

If you would like to know more about the laws governing abortion in New York, there are many health care law attorneys in your area who may be able to help. As well, a private criminal defense attorney will be able to discuss the penalties for violating New York's abortion laws and required procedures.

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