NYCLU And Partners Release Abortion Access Agenda For Post-Roe World

“As federal reproductive rights vanish, New York must again be a beacon for people who need abortion care
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NEW YORK — Following a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Girls for Gender Equity, Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice New York, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum New York City Chapter, National Institute for Reproductive Health, and Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts released an Abortion Access Roadmap.

New York state first opened its doors to abortion care five decades ago, and three years before the Court decided Roe. The Reproductive Health Act codifies Roe v. Wade in state law, recognizing abortion — and the whole range of reproductive care — as a fundamental right. Yet when Roe falls, New York must go further to ensure meaningful access to abortion care for anyone who needs it.

The Access Roadmap details four key actions state lawmakers must take to protect and expand abortion, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice in New York:

  • Protect pregnant people in the state constitution from discrimination and criminalization
  • Fund abortions for those who cannot afford care and expand funding for abortion providers
  • Protect providers, helpers, and patients from the threat of litigation or prosecution for providing care
  • Increase hospital transparency so New Yorkers know where care is available

“As federal reproductive rights vanish, New York must again be a beacon for people who need abortion care, including women, girls, and transgender and non-binary people. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again: New York will open its doors to those in need of an abortion,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman. “Thanks to the Reproductive Health Act, our state law affirms that abortion is a fundamental right, yet New York can and must do more to lead the way as an access state. If Albany delivers the funding needed for abortion care, enshrines anti-discrimination protections against pregnant people in our state constitution, builds strong legal protections for funders and providers, and increases hospital transparency, New York will lead the nation. Now is the time for the Governor and legislature to show the country that New York will never stop fighting for a person's decision to choose when and whether to have a child.”

Read the full Abortion Access Roadmap here.

"New York has a proud legacy of building and advancing reproductive rights - including the right to abortion. But, the consequences of this impending Supreme Court decision will be swift and devastating for communities nationwide – and New York is not immune to the fallout. This Abortion Access Roadmap is a blueprint for the work New York must do to meet this critical moment. By passing legislation that protects pregnant people and pregnancy outcomes in our constitution, and making bold investments in funding abortion access, New York can solidify itself as an access-state. Together, we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a beacon for bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and freedom to access abortion care,” said Georgana Hanson, interim President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.

“The stigma towards Black parenthood is a weight that is heavy on Black people, Black girls and women and gender expansive people of color, even before the point of conception. It affects every bit of information and resources they receive or that’s available to them when deciding whether to be pregnant or is pregnant. We cannot ignore the ways the patriarchal violence towards gender and race makes the reproductive experience and decision making process uncomfortable and challenging for those at the intersection. The Supreme Court has signaled their intentions to strike down the federal constitutional protections of abortion rights, opening the door for nationwide attacks on abortion access. This roadmap presents an opportunity for New York State to secure the right to bodily autonomy for those most vulnerable to these restrictions and a path to achieve gender equity,” said Quadira Coles, Deputy Director of Policy, Girls for Gender Equity

“The Supreme Court has signaled it is prepared to end all federal protections for abortion care -- if this opinion is the final decision, half the states in the U.S. will move quickly to severely restrict or ban abortion. Now is the time for New York State to create a Roadmap to Abortion Access that other states can follow. New York lawmakers have the chance to expand abortion access to those seeking care, to protect providers, and to create transparency for patients. The New York State legislature and the Governor need to take immediate steps to ensure that everyone can access abortion care, regardless of their income, race, age, or immigration status. New Yorkers are watching and waiting for our leaders to champion reproductive justice, and they have our support,” said Elizabeth Estrada, NY Field and Advocacy Manager, The Latina Institute New York.

“As the majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is currently drafted, abortion access would vanish for millions. The Supreme Court is positioned to undermine a long-established protection that has afforded millions of Americans freedom and security with legal access to abortions. This could be devastating to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) women, especially those working in low-wage, frontline jobs. Already, the path to abortion is arduous for the AAPI community — filled with language barriers, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance coverage for our most vulnerable community members. Antiabortion bills sweeping the country threaten a fundamental human right of every person who can get pregnant. New York offers a model for how we can protect our communities and our friends from neighboring states — – through the Roadmap for Abortion Access. We will continue to build on the success of the Reproductive Equity Act until all New York immigrants have access to affordable health care, social services, and culturally-component resources,” said Becca Asaki, NYC Organizing Manager, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

“The Supreme Court is clearly willing to put anti-abortion zealotry above the health, well-being, and bodily autonomy of people across this country,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund. “This is a call-to-action, and New York State lawmakers have an opportunity to step up by following our blueprint for New York State, which calls for passage of a Reproductive Health and Equity Fund, a constitutional amendment to protect pregnant people from discrimination, and protections for both abortion providers and patients. The time is now for New York to take action so that our state's providers can meet the increased need for abortion care that will soon arise, and so that New Yorkers and people across the country can get timely, necessary, essential abortion care, now and in the future."

ACCESS ROADMAP RECOMMENDATIONS:

1) Protect pregnant people in our state constitution

While abortion is legal in New York, New York’s constitution does not protect pregnant people if they have an abortion, suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth, or give birth to babies who do not survive. Courts and police across the country are targeting and punishing people for the outcome of their pregnancies. New York must pass the Equality Amendment to enshrine protections against pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes discrimination into our state constitution.

2) Fund abortion access

If Roe falls, people will seek care in states that safeguard access to abortion — but many people across the country and in New York lack the money necessary to pay for abortion and the travel, lodging, child care, and other expenses required to obtain that care. New York needs to create a comprehensive state program that will invest in providers and fund abortions for anyone who needs financial support. In addition, Albany must pass legislation to create an Abortion Access Fund that would be financed by the voluntary contribution of New Yorkers via their state income tax return form.

3) Protect providers, helpers, and patients

New York must insulate New York abortion providers from having their license revoked or facing sky-high medical malpractice insurance costs. The state must also pass legislation that prevents the participation of state agents in unfounded criminal actions, and safeguard against malicious civil suits.

4) Increase hospital transparency

Hospitals often deny certain types of care, like abortion, contraception, miscarriage management, and other types of sensitive health care, based on bureaucratic policies rather than sound medical science. To make matters worse, because information about what types of care hospitals deny is often impossible to access, patients cannot determine whether their local hospital provides the care they need before admission. We need legislation to provide New Yorkers seeking abortion with the tools to determine whether their local hospital actually provides this care before they’re admitted.

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