Across the country, states are seeking to ban and eliminate access to abortion care. In New York, we are working to expand access to reproductive health care so that all people can get the care they need in our state. Ensuring that people have access to the full spectrum of quality reproductive health care – from contraception, to abortion, to prenatal and postpartum care – is critical for improving our health and providing people the ability to plan their futures and participate equally in our society.
Your Rights to Abortion Care in New York
Know Your Rights
When and why do people seek abortions?
Prohibiting abortion does not remove the need for abortion, it just exacerbates the economic divide between who can and cannot access care.
The majority of abortions occur earlier in pregnancy. Roughly 98 percent of abortions take place before 20 weeks, and the vast majority (92 percent) occur within the first 13 weeks.
Studies show that many of those who seek abortion care after 20 weeks wanted an earlier abortion but faced financial hurdles and legal barriers, including the need to travel for care. For others, new information such as a fetal diagnosis may arise later in pregnancy. And for still others, circumstances change and a wanted pregnancy becomes untenable, for example when a partner leaves or dies, a young child develops a serious illness, or someone in the family loses their job or health insurance. In all of these circumstances, the ability to access later care is essential.
As soon as a person has the information they need and has decided to end a pregnancy, we should make sure they do not face barriers to abortion care.
Various methods of abortion are available depending upon the stage of pregnancy, the patient’s preferences, and other medical indications. Abortion care has low complication rates. Patients should talk to their providers about which type of abortion care is best for them.
What are your rights to abortion in New York?
In June 2022, the Supreme Court issued a decision overturning Roe v. Wade. While this continues to impact people’s ability to access abortion care across the United States – half of states are poised to ban abortion completely – New York law contains protections to ensure access to care.
Under New York law, health care practitioners may provide abortion care 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy; and after that point in cases where a patient’s health or life is at risk, or when the fetus is non-viable.
Under New York law Doctors and Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs) - such as Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Licensed Midwives - can perform abortion care that is within their scope of practice. An extensive body of medical literature confirms the safety and efficacy of abortions provided by APCs.
Will medical information be kept confidential?
Medical care is typically confidential, and in addition, New York law specifically protects the medical records of abortion patients so you can trust that you are receiving confidential care.
Is abortion covered under public and private insurance?
New York has broad coverage requirements for abortion care under both public and private health insurance. New York has long covered abortion under Medicaid, and lawmakers recently enacted a law that requires private insurance to cover abortion care without a copayment or a deductible. If a person does need financial support – either to pay for travel, a place to stay, or the care itself – they can contact a logistical support group, such as the Brigid Alliance, or an abortion fund such as the New York Abortion Access Fund. Oftentimes abortion providers will be able to help a patient work with these organizations as well.
Can minors consent to abortion in New York?
A minor who can provide informed consent (i.e. they understand the risks and benefits of the care) can consent to confidential abortion care.
Things to know when seeking abortion care
Many patients want to understand what an abortion will feel like, what recovery will be like, and how much it will cost. Here are a few trusted sources that you can count on when researching abortion:
WHO (World Health Organization)