Everything seems to indicate that, unless “a miracle” occurs, the Supreme Court in the coming weeks will annul the known decision like “Roe v. Wade”which since 1973 granted the constitutional right for pregnant women in the United States to have the freedom to abort without being penalized and with the necessary support.
And foreseeing the worst case scenario, although New York already has strong laws that protect the right for women to interrupt their pregnancies until the 24th week, activists and political leaders do not want to rest on their laurels.
That is why they are pushing new measures in the Legislatureto ensure that option remains in place and protected statewide, such as creating a program that provides access to abortion for low-income New Yorkers, as well as women who are expected to travel to New York from states that prohibit abortion, to perform the procedures.
so announced New York Attorney General Letitia Jamesafter advocating for legislation introduced last week by State Sen. Cordell Cleare and Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojaswhich will finance a fund with $50 million to grant them to providers of abortion services throughout the state to cover expenses not only in medical interventions, but in care services for their children, if they have them, transportation, and the support they require.
“We know what happens when women cannot control their own bodies and make their own decisions and we will not go back to those dark times. New York must lead the fight to keep abortion safe and accessible to all who seek it,” said the New York prosecutor, after referring to the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Programwhich would be supervised by the Department of Health.
“This law ensure that low-income New Yorkers and people in states that ban abortion have access to the care they need and deserve. No matter what happens in the weeks ahead, New York will always fight to protect our right to make decisions about our own bodies and expand access to this critical, life-saving care.”
James mentioned that if the supreme court ends the constitutional right to abortion at the federal level, which will be 50 years old next year, New York will again show its spirit of “help and compassion”, supporting women who cannot have an abortion in their states, anticipating that there will be a stampede of cases.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, revealed that the 9%, or 7,000 of abortion procedures performed in New York, were among women from out of state. And it is estimated that if the protection “Roe v. Wade,” that figure could grow to more than 32,000 annual abortions, only among neighboring residents of Ohio and Pennsylvania who commute to the Big Apple and other municipalities in the state.
“we want to be prepared… Every person in this nation should have the freedom to have control over their own body,” Prosecutor James added at a press conference, warning that banning abortions does not mean that women who wish to terminate their pregnancies will no longer do so. “Bans will not stop abortions. Bans will only stop safe abortions.”
Help vulnerable women
state senator Cordell Cleare highlighted that the right to abortion is an essential aspect of women’s medical care, and mentioned that with the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program a plan to help vulnerable women would be guaranteed and, incidentally, New York would be telling the Court clearly and loudly Supreme, that this State is moved by rights and not by political positions.
“We will not be subject to the arbitrary whims of a politicized Supreme Court nor can we fund health care services through private fundraising. Our women deserve better and justice and equity demand it”, said the political leader.
The legislation would also ensure protection of the privacy of people seeking abortions and prohibit the state from tracking patients’ personal information through providers who receive funds from the program.
Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas He mentioned that if the protections of the right to abortion at the federal level are annulled, many poor women, of color and immigrants, will be left unprotected, for which it is urgent that New York take action to guarantee that both New Yorkers and those from other states are not thrown into their care. Good luck if you want to terminate your pregnancies.
“Millions of people who live in states hostile to abortion access will seek that care in other states. New York must be a leader at this time and prepare for the imminent need,” said the Latina legislator, who asked the political leaders of Albany to advance this law. “I ask that we invest the necessary resources to support our sisters and brothers across the country. Our communities need real action from our State and this fund will ensure that New York is a safe access state when the Supreme Court has failed us.”
the assemblywoman Yudelka Tapia described the aid initiative in favor of those who wish to have an abortion as an act in favor of equal rights for all, reproductive freedom and equity to guarantee access to medical care. “I thank Attorney James for bringing this fight to the forefront and I look forward to fighting for women’s rights and their right to choose,” said the Assemblywoman.
The New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams She also joined the call for Albany to move with more protections that shield the right of women to abortion and support organizations.
“With Roe v. Wade under attack and facing a possible reversal by the Supreme Court, we must continue to take action to ensure access to safe abortion and support organizations that help address people’s reproductive health care needs,” the statement said. head of the municipal body. “Establishing this new fund will support people’s increased access to abortion care in key circumstances where a provider is unable to utilize insurance coverage or a patient is unable to pay.”
call to action
Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute of Reproductive Health (NIRH), warned that the intentions of the Supreme Court, with a conservative majority, to annul “Roe v. Wade,” is a call to action, and he called on the New York Legislature to respond with more protections.
“The Reproductive Freedom and Equity Fund would be a proactive and much-needed step in creating real access to abortion care, at a time when we need it most. With half of the states in the country poised to ban abortion, New York providers will face tremendous obstacles in providing the care people need, both to New Yorkers and all those who will travel to our state for care,” he said. the activist “With this funding, New York will ensure that medical and other costs are not a barrier to accessing care and that our providers have the capacity, resources and infrastructure to treat everyone who needs care.”
Among ordinary Latin women, the issue of abortion clearly divides opinions, and although some support the right to decide on the continuation of a pregnancy, others reject it outright.
“I think that many people do not understand that the right to abortion is an option, not an obligation, that it is good to have it because we go around judging others a lot and say that abortion is a sin, but I think it is preferable not to have a baby, to bring him to suffer in the world when one does not have the resources or the way to sustain them well, “he assured Marisela Fernandez, originally from Guatemalaafter mentioning that a clandestine abortion was performed in her country more than 15 years ago, and her family called her “a devil.”
Fanny Moralesoriginally from Colombia and a resident of Queens, expressed her disagreement with “widespread abortion”, and mentioned that it seems serious to her that in New York it is allowed until the 24th week.
“Abortion, for example, when the mother is at risk or when the baby is ill, can be supported, but to abort a child already formed, with six months, seems to me a crime. I think they should leave the option, but reduce it until week 12, when it is still an embryo”, said the mother of the family.
Jessica Atriuman obstetrician, showed her support for women’s reproductive rights and said that promoting measures such as the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program is a matter of health and justice.
“Abortion is essential health care that improves the lives, health and well-being of the patients we serve,” the doctor said, adding that it is urgent to help providers continue to meet the needs to provide care to women who choose to terminate their pregnancies.
Hospital transparency law
And while the Supreme Court announces its decision, to the demonstrations in favor of the right to abortion that have been carried out, it was added another this Monday at the Capitol in Albanywhere politicians and activists asked that the Legislature also approve the so-called hospital transparency law.
The piece of law, promoted by Senator Nily Rozic and Assemblywoman Michelle Hinchey, seeks to give New Yorkers seeking abortion and reproductive services the tools to determine if their local hospital truly provides the care they require by directing the Department of Health to compile and publish a list of each hospital’s prohibited health care services. It also requires reporting on how the denial of abortion and reproductive health services affects patients, by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
In the demonstration, Assemblywoman Hinchey He warned that his bill would not only help improve conditions for women who have abortions.
“This includes all types of reproductive health care. It could be postpartum services; it could be abortion care: it runs the gamut. Everything that is thought about reproductive health is changing. It affects everyone in our community and we must be responsible for uploading that information and making it easily accessible,” said the legislator.
“It has never been more important to fight with everything we have to protect and expand health care in New York,” added Hinchey. “Hospitals across New York State are downsizing or closing at an alarming rate, causing our already medically underserved communities to lose even more access to the health care services they need, specifically including reproductive care. This is an unacceptable reality, and our legislation will ensure that New Yorkers are informed about the services that are not available to them at their local hospital before it is too late.”
Senator Rozic, for her part, mentioned that “recent attacks on abortion and access to health care have highlighted how crucial hospital care is” and how little is known about the care provided by hospitals.
“No patient should be denied the care they need simply because they had no way of knowing that their local hospital excluded certain procedures. This legislation will go a long way toward ensuring that New Yorkers have access to the data they need to make informed decisions about their health,” said the legislator.
Supporters of both pieces of legislation hope the state Legislature will sign them into law before June 2, when the session officially ends in Albany.
Facts about the fight for abortion rights
- 1973 was the year in which the constitutional decision “Roe v. Wade ”at the federal level that protects the right for women to decide on the interruption of their pregnancies.
- 22 states have laws or constitutional amendments already in place that would allow them to ban abortion if “Roe v. Wade”
- 26 states are home to more than 40 million women of reproductive age
- An estimated 7,000 out-of-state women come to New York each year for abortions
- 32,000 would be the estimated number of women from neighboring states who would come to NY for abortions if federal protection is lifted
- $50 million dollars are the resources proposed to create the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program, to cover abortions for low-income New Yorkers and women from other states
What does the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program look for?
- The Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program would provide funding for abortion providers and nonprofit organizations to help increase access to care, funding for uncompensated and uninsured abortion services, and provide resources to support the needs of women. people accessing abortion services. The Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program would support abortion access for low-income New Yorkers and also provide financial support for the influx of people coming to New York from other states that ban abortion.
- These funds would not be given directly to women seeking an abortion, but would be managed and overseen by the Department of Health, including transportation assistance, child care, and support.