•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A10232 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      May 11, 2022
        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Lavine) --
          read once and referred to the Committee on Health
        AN ACT relating to protecting indigent women in the United States in the
          exercise of their personal control over their bodies and  health  care
          decisions and to promote commerce between the states
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the "Geraldine Santoro act of 2022".
     3    §  2.  Statement  of  legislative  intent.  (a)  Because medical care,
     4  personal autonomy over reproductive  decisions,  and  the  corresponding
     5  right  of  privacy are fundamental human rights, it is the intent of the
     6  New York State Legislature to provide full and  complete  protection  to
     7  women  seeking  abortions  and  related  medical services in this state,
     8  whether or not they reside in New York.
     9    (b) Because cross-border medical services implicate and involve inter-
    10  state commerce, as U.S. citizens often  travel  between  the  states  to
    11  obtain such services, it is the intent of the New York State Legislature
    12  to  encourage  interstate  travel  and  commerce  for  the  provision of
    13  abortion services in this state.
    14    (c) Because every year approximately 20 million women  worldwide  risk
    15  their  lives  to  undergo unsafe abortions, and understanding that women
    16  who reside in states that have restricted or intend to  restrict  access
    17  to  necessary  abortions  are  more likely, as Geraldine Santoro did, to
    18  seek out unsafe methods or  procedures  to  terminate  pregnancies  from
    19  unqualified  individuals,  including themselves, it is the intent of the
    20  New York State Legislature to prevent  further  physical  harm  to  such
    21  women and/or dangerous complications to the pregnancy.
    22    (d)  Because  strict  limitations  or  bans  on  abortions will have a
    23  disproportionate impact on indigent women and women of color, it is  the
    24  intent  of  the New York State Legislature to protect even women outside
    25  the state of New York, in coordination with other like-minded states.
    26    § 3. Travel to New York for abortions  and  related  care.  (a)  Women
    27  living  in  the 50 U.S. States and territories, who (1) seek an abortion
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 10232                            2
     1  that is unlawful in their state of residence but is legal in  New  York,
     2  (2)  do not have the means to pay for such medical care or travel to New
     3  York are eligible to apply for financial assistance  to  travel  to  New
     4  York to obtain such medical services.
     5    (b) On an annual basis, the department of health, in consultation with
     6  the  not-for-profit corporation created for this purpose, as provided in
     7  subdivision (d) of section four of  this  act,  shall  promulgate  rules
     8  setting  forth the financial qualifications for obtaining such financial
     9  assistance.
    10    (c) Such rules shall be based upon the patient's financial means.
    11    (d) Such rules shall aim to maximize the availability  of  funds  from
    12  all sources.
    13    (e)  To  the  extent permitted by law, such rules shall seek to obtain
    14  reimbursement from the patient's health insurance, or from  Medicare  or
    15  Medicaid.
    16    (f) In the event that the number of applications exceeds the amount of
    17  funds  available,  such  rules  shall  prioritize paying for the cost of
    18  abortion procedures and travel in circumstances where: there is a lethal
    19  fetal anomaly; or to protect the patient's life or health; or where  the
    20  pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
    21    (g)  Immigration  status  shall  not be a consideration in determining
    22  financial eligibility or participation in the program  in  any  way.  No
    23  information  on  legal  status  may be collected in connection with this
    24  program.
    25    § 4. Administration. (a) The department  of  health  shall  promulgate
    26  rules  and  regulations  consistent  with this act within 60 days of the
    27  effective date of this act.
    28    (b) Effective immediately, the department of health shall  be  author-
    29  ized  to  use  fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) for the program set
    30  forth in section three of this act, including through a new not-for-pro-
    31  fit corporation, set forth in subdivision (d) of this section, to admin-
    32  ister the program, to pay for eligible abortions, and to pay for  eligi-
    33  ble travel.
    34    (c)  Beginning in fiscal year 2023-2024, the state budget shall appro-
    35  priate funds directly for the program created by this act.
    36    (d) The department of health shall create a not-for-profit corporation
    37  to administer the program set forth in section three of this act,  shall
    38  appoint its board of trustees, and shall be empowered to fund the corpo-
    39  ration  using  the department's budget consistent with the other funding
    40  provisions of this act.
    41    (e) Such not-for-profit corporation shall:
    42    (1) administer the program, including facilitating travel arrangements
    43  and medical appointments for women who need them, and paying  the  costs
    44  where eligible;
    45    (2) raise private money to help pay for this program;
    46    (3)  be authorized to enter into partnerships with existing, privately
    47  run not-for-profit corporations  that  can  contribute  funds  or  other
    48  resources to this program;
    49    (4)  be  authorized  to  enter into pacts with other states that enact
    50  laws similar to this act, so that the funds, and other resources includ-
    51  ing information, from various states can be pooled; so that those  funds
    52  and  other  resources can be used in the most efficient manner (allowing
    53  these benefits to be extended to as many women as possible); and so that
    54  eligible patients can be  treated  in  the  least  disruptive  and  most
    55  compassionate manner, with the least amount of travel;

        A. 10232                            3
     1    (5)  maximize  the  availability  of funds from sources other than New
     2  York, such as, where eligible, federal funding (including  Medicaid  and
     3  Medicare), or the patient's private insurance;
     4    (6)  be  authorized  to enter into agreements with common carriers for
     5  the purpose of administering the program under section three of this act
     6  in a cost-efficient manner; and
     7    (7) provide, in circumstances defined within  regulations  promulgated
     8  by the department of health, a fast-track option in which applicants for
     9  financial assistance receive notice of the determination on their appli-
    10  cation  within 48 hours of the application's receipt, or such other time
    11  limitation as determined by the department of health.
    12    (f) The department of health shall determine, in consultation with the
    13  department of education,  whether  the  state  can  safely  and  legally
    14  provide  medical  abortions to out-of-state residents through mail-order
    15  pharmacies and telehealth consultations, in which the patient would  use
    16  the  abortifacient medication in their home state, or in a nearby state;
    17  and if such a practice is determined to be safe and lawful, the not-for-
    18  profit corporation administering the program shall provide for  such  an
    19  option.
    20    (g)  The  department  of health shall identify and certify health care
    21  providers who are authorized to administer abortions  in  New  York  for
    22  out-of-state residents.
    23    (h) Participation in the program shall not be conditioned, in any way,
    24  upon  a patient's immigration status. No information on legal status may
    25  be collected in connection with this program.
    26    § 5. Civil liability. (a) Any person, other than an officer or employ-
    27  ee of a state or local governmental entity in this state,  may  bring  a
    28  civil action against any person who:
    29    (1)  obstructs, impedes or hinders any woman from exercising the right
    30  created in section two of this act;
    31    (2) obstructs,  impedes  or  hinders  any  medical  professional  from
    32  providing abortions or abortion-related services to any woman; or
    33    (3)  aids  or  abets  any action proscribed by paragraph one or two of
    34  this subdivision.
    35    (b) Except where otherwise prohibited by law, a civil  action  brought
    36  under  this  section  shall be brought in the county in which one of the
    37  parties resided when it was commenced; the county in which a substantial
    38  part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim  occurred;  or,
    39  if  none  of the parties then resided in the state, in any county desig-
    40  nated by the plaintiff. A party resident in more than one  county  shall
    41  be deemed a resident of each such county.
    42    (c) A person may bring an action under this section not later than the
    43  fourth anniversary of the date the cause of action accrues.
    44    (d)  If  a  claimant prevails in an action brought under this section,
    45  the court shall award:
    46    (1) injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the defendant from violat-
    47  ing this act or engaging in acts that aid or  abet  violations  of  this
    48  act;
    49    (2)  statutory  damages in an amount of not less than $50,000 for each
    50  abortion the defendant obstructed in violation of this act; and
    51    (3) reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
    52    (e) The following are not defenses to an  action  brought  under  this
    53  section:
    54    (1) ignorance or mistake of law;
    55    (2) a defendant's belief that the requirements of this act are or were
    56  unconstitutional;

        A. 10232                            4
     1    (3)  a  defendant's reliance on any court decision that has been over-
     2  ruled on appeal or by a subsequent court, even if  that  court  decision
     3  had  not  been  overruled  when  the  defendant  engaged in conduct that
     4  violates this act;
     5    (4) a defendant's reliance on any state or federal court decision that
     6  is not binding on the court in which the action has been brought;
     7    (5) non-mutual issue preclusion or non-mutual claim preclusion; or
     8    (6)  any  claim  that the actions or activity in violation of this act
     9  were based on religious or moral beliefs about the sanctity of life.
    10    § 6. Sanctuary provisions. (a) New York  governmental  agencies  shall
    11  not  participate  in  out-of-state investigations, lawsuits, or criminal
    12  prosecutions related to an abortion that is lawfully performed  in  this
    13  state.
    14    (b)  The department of health, the not-for-profit corporation adminis-
    15  tering this program, all funding partners of this program, all transpor-
    16  tation partners of this program, providers of health care,  health  care
    17  service plans, or contractors in this state shall not release any infor-
    18  mation  (including identity) related to an individual seeking or obtain-
    19  ing an abortion in this state in out-of-state investigations,  lawsuits,
    20  or criminal prosecutions related to abortions lawfully performed in this
    21  state,  including in response to a subpoena, whether or not the individ-
    22  ual received financial assistance.
    23    (c) This state shall not extradite a person in  New  York  to  another
    24  state for having an abortion in New York under this act.
    25    (d)  No  coroner  in this state shall issue a statement on the certif-
    26  icate of fetal death intended to facilitate  or  encourage  official  or
    27  private  legal  actions  against women availing themselves of the rights
    28  under this act or medical professionals  providing  abortions  or  abor-
    29  tion-related services in this state.
    30    § 7. Severability. If any provision, section, subsection, or clause of
    31  this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held inval-
    32  id,  it  is the legislature's intent that the invalidity does not affect
    33  other provisions, sections, subsections, clauses or applications of this
    34  act which can be given effect without the  invalid  provision,  section,
    35  subsection,  or clause or application, and to this end the provisions of
    36  this act are severable.
    37    § 8. This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top