Pending its expected signature by Governor Kathy Hochul, New York has a new law providing legal protection to New York doctors who send abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol to patients in states that ban them.
But New York's legislation is expected to have a notable impact. Several providers in New York say they plan to send abortion pills to patients in all restrictive states, and a few providers are speaking publicly, which those in other states with shield laws have so far not done.
"I'm going to mail pills as soon as the governor signs the bill," said Dr. Linda Prine, a New York physician and co-founder of the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, which answers patients' questions about medication abortion. "This is the first time we're able to do something to fight back," she added.
The New York law, similar to laws passed in Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont and Washington, would protect providers from extradition to states to which they send the pills. But if they traveled to those states, they could still face criminal charges, including for murder.