New York State to Allow Medication Abortion Via Telemedicine

Sep 13, 2021
In The News

Women in New York state will be able to access medication abortion services via telemedicine, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday.

Hochul, standing with female lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, announced plans to continue to push for women’s reproductive rights and to be a haven for women.

Hochul, a Democrat, called the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision not to block Texas’ new six-week abortion ban a “travesty.”

“My friends that oppression, in my judgment, is going on right now in the state of Texas, and our harbor is open for people to come here and understand that we will be there to take care of them and protect them,” Hochul said.

Regulations and Guidance

Hochul directed the New York State Department of Health to update regulations to allow women to have access to medication that terminates a pregnancy via a telehealth visit.

State regulations currently require a physical examination and mandatory blood test prior to termination, which can’t be accomplished during a fully telehealth visit. The new regulation will remove the blood testing and require a “clinically relevant” exam, rather than a physical one, according to the state health department.

Hochul touted New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which passed in 2019 and codified Roe v. Wade into state law, ensuring access to safe and legal abortions.

There have been delays in issuing regulations under the law, which Hochul promised would be taken care of immediately, including creating a patient bill of rights. It will be offered in multiple languages and distributed statewide, she said.

Hochul also directed the health department to create comprehensive guidance for health-care providers on the right to provide abortion care. She also announced plans to launch a statewide public information campaign on abortion access.

“We’re going to make sure every single woman in the state of New York knows her rights,” Hochul said. “But also, if we’re going to be a haven for people from elsewhere, we need to make sure that our health-care providers are also equipped with the guidance they need.”