2007_04_spitzerpoint.jpgYesterday, Governor Spitzer announced that he planned to introduce legislation to update and change New York State's abortion laws. The Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, as Spitzer's bill is called will "encapsulate protections similar to those afforded by Roe, that a pregnant woman has the right to an abortion in two circumstances; first, prior to viability of the fetus, and second, at any time when necessary to protect her life or her health," according to Governor Spitzer's wife, Silda Wall Spitzer.

The bill will also change portions of the current law that many abortion rights activists feel are out of date. In addition to provisions for the woman's health, the law would also amend laws that consider abortion as a homicide and repeal a statute that, "criminalizes, among other things, providing nonprescription contraception to minors."

The state law would not supersede the ruling by the United States Supreme Court last week to uphold the ban against so called partial-birth abortions. A deputy director from Planned Parrenthood said that Spitzer's bill would make doctors more comfortable with the full range of abortion procedures.

Once introduced the bill still has to pass the Democratic-led Assembly and the Republican-controlled Senate.

Photo of Governor Spitzer by AP/Mike Groll