Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblymember Chris Burdick Announce Passage of FIRE HATE Act

Legislators and advocates celebrate the bill's passage, which reinforces New York as a safe haven for out-of-state people seeking reproductive or endocrine health services

Albany, NY – State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblymember Chris Burdick praised their colleagues in the legislature – with special thanks to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie – for Tuesday's passage of the Freedom from Interference with Reproductive and Endocrine Health Advocacy and Travel Exercise (FIRE HATE) Act, A10094/S9039

The measure, which now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature, establishes a cause of action for unlawful interference with certain rights that are protected in New York State, which include the right to obtain reproductive health care, including but not limited to the legal termination of a pregnancy or for gender-affirming health services. The bill – an amendment to the civil rights law – would allow any person who comes to New York to exercise these rights, and has those rights interfered with, to bring a cause of action in New York against the interfering person or entity. The original draft of the legislation was brought to both Senator Biaggi and Assemblymember Burdick by local attorney, choice advocate, and co-chair of the National Trans Bar Association Kristen Browde.

"As the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must do everything in our power to ensure that our state remains a safe haven for reproductive care. The FIRE HATE Act will help protect individuals who may come to New York to receive abortion care or hormone therapy. By passing this law, we will make it abundantly clear that New York is a sanctuary state for reproductive rights. I would like to thank Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assemblymember Burdick, and my Legislative colleagues for prioritizing this issue and I look forward to seeing it signed into law,” said Senator Alessandra Biaggi.

“New York must stand together with those who come here from states that are hostile to basic health care rights and protect them from those attempting to intimidate and harass them with litigation in their home states.Plain and simple, it is an infringement on the rights established in New York law to interfere with anyone attempting to exercise those rights. This legislation, which establishes a cause of action for interfering with these protected rights, is critical to people who simply want control over their own bodies," said Assemblymember Chis Burdick.

"This bill is vital. It ensures that our state will protect against the vigilantes authorized by states like Texas and Oklahoma, who are allowed to hunt down and sue those seeking health care (or those helping them), whether abortion or transgender care. If that essential health care that people seek is in New York, interference with the right to obtain those services will now be punishable by both actual and punitive damages. I am grateful to Senator Biaggi and Assemblymember Burdick for their work getting this through the legislature and urge Governor Hochul to sign it as soon as possible," said Kristen Browde.

Both houses of the NYS Legislature passed the bill among a package of measures targeted to protect women’s reproductive health.