1970 April 11

Governor Rockefeller Signs NY Abortion Reform Law


The 1970 New York abortion reform law, signed by the governor on this day, became the most liberal law of its kind in the country. Governor Nelson Rockefeller, a Republican, signed the bill into law on this day. Because of the lack of a residency requirement, New York became the only state in the country offering abortion on demand. Soon, the majority of abortions performed in the state were for people who were not residents of New York. Colorado and California had liberalized their abortion laws in 1967, and several other states made moderate reforms between 1967 and 1970.  The New York law took effect on July 1 of this year.

See the story of California Governor Ronald Reagan’s signing of the California abortion reform bill on June 15, 1967.

Learn about the impact of the New York abortion law, 1970-1971: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.63.5.409

Learn more at a timeline of reproductive freedom in America: https://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/timeline-important-reproductive-freedom-cases-decided-supreme-court

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