1970 July 1

New York Abortion-Reform Law Takes Effect


Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller on this day signed an abortion reform bill into law, which was passed by both Republican-controlled houses of the state legislature. Only 4 of the 207 legislators were women at the time.

Several other states had liberalized their abortion laws, expanding access to abortion (see especially the California law, signed by Governor Ronald Reagan on June 15, 1967). Because it did not have a residency requirement, the New York law was the most liberal one in the U.S., and many women began coming to New York from other states to obtain an abortion.

Follow a timeline on abortion rights: http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/history_abortion.html

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

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