Assemblymember Amy Paulin Fights the Texas Abortion Ban with Legislation

Albany, NY – Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announces the filing of her legislation (A.8286) which fights the Texas state abortion ban by rendering judgements made pursuant to Texas’ anti-abortion law ineffective in New York State.

Paulin’s bill amends New York State civil practice law and rules, exempting a person from a money judgment arising from an action in another state for knowingly engaging in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.

The Texas Heartbeat Act took effect on September 1, 2021, becoming the strictest state abortion law in the country. The Texas law bans abortions after approximately six weeks gestation, which is before most women are even aware that they are pregnant. It also fails to include exemptions for rape or incest.

The Texas law is also unique in that it gives a civil remedy for private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion” and allows for an award of at least $10,000 in damages to successful plaintiffs.

New York has been a leader in preserving a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. In 2019, the Reproductive Health Act was enacted, codifying the right to an abortion set out in Roe v. Wade. “The Texas Heartbeat Act goes against the very principles of our State and sets a dangerous precedent against women,” said Paulin. “Under the Act, if a New Yorker seeks to aid women in Texas either directly or by donating to a fund, they will be potentially subject to a monetary judgment arising from the Texas law’s “aiding or abetting the performance or inducement of an abortion” language. If my bill passes, a New Yorker’s property will be protected as it would not be able to be used to satisfy a judgement obtained under Texas’ draconian law.”

“Texas’ anti-abortion law puts vulnerable women’s lives at risk, further traumatizes those who have become pregnant as a result of being victims of crime or horrific abuse, and eliminates a woman’s autonomy to decide what happens to her body,” continues Paulin. “I hope my bill sends a message to the women of Texas that we in New York are here for them, and to those promulgating these laws that we will not stand by and let Roe and women’s rights get trampled on.”