Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)
New York imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.
Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided
Among the most common TRAP regulations are those restricting the provision of abortion services to hospitals or other specialized facilities, which require doctors to obtain medically unnecessary additional licenses, needlessly convert their practices to mini-hospitals at great expense, or provide abortion services only in hospitals, an impossibility in many parts of the country.
New York has an unconstitutional and unenforceable law requiring that all abortion services after the 12th week be provided in a hospital and on an in-patient basis. N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 4164.1 (Enacted 1974).
The New York Department of Health general counsel has concluded that the second-trimester hospitalization requirement would be unconstitutional if enforced. Letter from Henry Greenberg, General Counsel, State of N.Y. Dep't of Health, to Erin Walker (Mar. 10, 1997).
Additionally, at least one physician at each site that provides abortion services must have admitting privileges at a hospital. Nothing requires hospitals to grant such privileges, nor is an exception made for rural areas. N.Y. Comp. Codes R & Regs. tit. § 10, 756.4 (1987).
Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion ServicesNew York prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.
Only a licensed physician may provide abortion care. A woman may terminate a pregnancy herself if she acts upon a physician's advice: (1) that such act is necessary to preserve her life; or (2) within 24 weeks from the commencement of her pregnancy. N.Y. Penal Law § 125.05(3) (Enacted 1965; Last Amended 1970).
A ruling from the New York Department of Health permits physician's assistants to provide first-trimester abortion care (New York State Dep't of Health, Declaratory Ruling: Performance of an Abortion by Physician Assistant (Dec. 20, 1994)).