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(Albany, NY) Today President Trump used his State of the Union to promote nationwide restrictions on reproductive health care that would leave women without access to safe and legal abortion, continuing his pattern of lies pushing a destructive agenda. While President Trump lauded the record number of women in the workforce and serving in Congress, he ignored the reality that the ability of women to succeed is directly tied to their ability to control their own bodies. President Trump also ignored that women were galvanized to run against him and his harmful targeting of our health care and rights.

Speaking of New York State’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA), which secured the same federal protection of Roe into our state law, President Trump flat-out lied, in a shocking attempt to demonize abortion care later in pregnancy and create controversy where absolutely none should exist. Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts calls out President Trump for parroting the utterly false extremist ideology created about the RHA as a smokescreen to outlaw our health care, demean medical providers and stigmatize women for seeking abortion care later in pregnancy.

Statement from Robin Chappelle Golston, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts:

“We will not apologize for protecting the rights of women to make the best decisions for themselves with their healthcare providers or enshrine the same protections as Roe v. Wade into New York State law. Repeating the sensational lies that the rare cases of abortion later in pregnancy is the norm and that women and their providers are murderers is not only horrendous but downright dangerous. Sowing hate and division to dehumanize people who support reproductive healthcare has no place in this country. What underlies this disgraceful ideology is the belief that women's lives and health are secondary, and women cannot be trusted to control their own bodies. Reducing access to reproductive healthcare does not protect women it puts the health and lives of women at risk.”


New York State legalized abortion back in 1970, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court did so nationally through Roe v. Wade, and New Yorkers consistently supported abortion access in the succeeding years. However, the state failed to update its abortion law, leaving providers and women without full protection. New York advocates lobbied for over a decade to mirror Roe in state law only to hit a conservative roadblock in the state Senate. On January 22, 2019, this long-overdue legislation finally passed both houses.

The RHA accomplished three important things:

  • Recognized that abortion is health care, not a crime, by moving the regulation of abortion care into the public health law where it belongs.
  • Brought the protections of Roe into state law by ensuring that New Yorkers can access needed care throughout pregnancy when their health or life is endangered, or their pregnancy is not viable.
  • Clarified that trained health care providers acting within their scope of practice can provide abortion care. This ensures that more New Yorkers have access to early and safe abortion care.

Abortion Facts:

One in 4 women will have an abortion by age 45 https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

A first-trimester abortion is one of the safest medical procedures and carries minimal risk: Major complications (those requiring hospital care, surgery or transfusion) occur at a rate of less than 0.5% (https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states)

Two-thirds of abortions occur by eight weeks of pregnancy; 89% occur in the first 12 weeks, 2013 https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/factsheet/fb_induced_abortion.pdf

Nearly half (45%) of all pregnancies among U.S. women in 2011 were unintended, and about four in 10 of these were terminated by abortion. Nineteen percent of pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) in 2014 ended were unintended, and about four in 10 of these were terminated by abortion.