In January 2019, New York passed the Reproductive Health Act. It was hailed as a watershed moment for women’s rights in the state. The NYRHA was meant to “codify Roe,” meaning to bring state laws into accord with the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
We’ve heard a lot from Democratic candidates regarding their wish to “codify Roe” on a federal level. Many voters believe codifying Roe would just assure reasonable protections for women facing problematic pregnancies, not realizing Roe is part of two decisions handed down by the Supreme Court.
On the same day Roe was decided, Doe v. Bolton was also handed down, with the court clarifying these were “companion cases.” Companion cases are meant to be read together when determining how a court decision should be interpreted. In large part, codifying Roe means codifying Doe as well.
Roe determines how states are permitted to limit abortion, based on the trimester of pregnancy. In the third trimester, a