Health Care

State Senate must protect reproductive health care

Access to abortion and contraception is threatened. Will NY act?

Andrew Cuomo shakes a woman's hand at the Women's March in New York City

Andrew Cuomo shakes a woman's hand at the Women's March in New York City Office of the Governor

The state Senate is threatening the rights of women by refusing to include Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s women’s agenda in its proposed budget. With President Donald Trump promising to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and his allies in Congress repeatedly trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, now is the time for New York to pre-emptively protect the rights that could be lost by these and other potential changes to federal law.

Both Cuomo and the Assembly recommitted to advancing women’s reproductive rights in their own budgets, including provisions to codify Roe v. Wade into state law, expand access to contraception and improve sex education across the state. It would also address the unacceptable rates of maternal mortality in New York, which ranks 30th out of 50 states as well as suffering from significant racial and ethnic disparities resulting in black women being nearly four times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth compared to white women.

But the state Senate does not include any of these in its budget, the most important policymaking process in state government. As a result, reproductive health, rights, and justice in New York are on the chopping block.

New York’s abortion law is nearly 50 years old – older than the Roe v. Wade decision itself. This outdated law forces women to leave the state to seek abortion care later in pregnancy, and threatens women who end their pregnancies on their own with prosecution. Women who don’t have access to a provider, lack money to pay for an abortion, are fearful of interacting with the medical system because of their immigration status, or a host of other reasons, may perform their own abortions – and under New York law, those women risk prosecution and jail.

The budgets proposed by the governor and the Assembly would fix these flaws in state law. By choosing not to include these basic provisions in its own budget, the state Senate has opted to move us backward.

New York has also failed to codify affordable, no-copay access to birth control – a hard-fought provision of the Affordable Care Act that enjoys approval from voters. Yet the ACA doesn’t cover contraception well enough and the contraceptive mandate is at constant risk of disappearing at the federal level.

Cuomo and the Assembly both included the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act in their respective budgets, which would ensure access to no-copay contraception as well as improved availability of emergency contraception. By leaving the CCCA out of its budget, the state Senate is missing another critical opportunity to ensure every woman, regardless of her economic status, has access to the full range of reproductive health care services.

With a president and federal government that are increasingly hostile to women, it’s up to the states to safeguard our access to reproductive care. Across the country, states are showing they will stand up to Trump on women’s rights: In 2017 alone, states passed 86 bills protecting reproductive rights.

Now more than ever, it’s necessary for states to serve as a bulwark against the federal government’s incursion into our health, rights and freedom. What we need now is for the state Senate to reverse its position and stand up for what’s right: protecting the autonomy and safety of women in New York.

Update: This piece has been updated to clarify that while Gov. Cuomo and the Assembly both support the Reproductive Health Act, only the Assembly’s budget contained that bill while the executive budget had different language addressing the issues with New York’s abortion law.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.