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New York lawmakers pass historic abortion rights legislation on Roe v. Wade anniversary

New York State Capitol building (Photo: CNYCentral/ Luke Parsnow).

New York lawmakers have passed legislation codifying rights protected by Roe v. Wade and other abortion rulings in case those decisions are overturned by the Supreme Court.

The New York Senate passed Bill S240 with a vote of 38-24 Tuesday afternoon. The Assembly, also controlled by Democrats, passed the legislation 92-47 around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday. The chamber erupted in applause when the Speaker announced the passage.

The Reproductive Health Act, passed on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, would also authorize physician assistants and nurse practitioners to perform certain types of abortions.

The legislation takes abortion language out of the penal code and creates a right to the abortion in the public health law. It's the first update to New York laws on reproductive rights since 1970.

According to the law, abortion would be allowed in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy or later if a doctor determines a mother needs one in the best interest of her health.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law.

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