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Spitzer plans bill to bolster abortion rights in New York

[JURIST] New York Governor Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday the he plans to submit legislation [press release] that would "establish a fundamental, statutory right to privacy for women in making personal reproductive decisions." Spitzer's proposed Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act would revise the state's abortion laws to allow late-term abortions when necessary to protect a woman's health and would "ensure the right of all New Yorkers to use or refuse contraceptives."

The US Supreme Court last week upheld [text; JURIST report] a federal law banning so-called "partial-birth" abortion even though the law did not create an exception for the health of the mother. Spitzer said Wednesday:

Basic respect for legal precedent, a sound understanding of scientifically-grounded medicine, and the unequivocal belief that private medical decisions should be left to the women facing them, dictate that we must reaffirm our commitment to a woman's right to choose. In the wake of the recent United States Supreme Court ruling, this legislation is a necessary measure to ensure that a woman's fundamental right to privacy in New York is protected at all costs, and not beholden to either archaic state statutes or an overreaching federal government.
Meanwhile, in another state legislative development influenced by the Supreme Court decision, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed a bill [PDF text; JURIST report] earlier this week prohibiting abortion [JURIST news archive] in the state if the US Supreme Court ever declares that such a move would be constitutional. North Dakota's governor is expected to sign that bill. The New York Times has more.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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