New York Rule Protects Access to Birth Control in Face of Federal Government’s Attacks on Women

July 9, 2018
Contact: Liza Dee
E: [email protected]
C: 860-304-2294

National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) applauds Governor Cuomo’s efforts to ensure contraception and abortion remain affordable and accessible

NEW YORK – In the face of a federal government more hostile to reproductive freedom than ever before, and a State Senate that has refused time and again to expand or protect New Yorkers’ access to reproductive health care, Governor Cuomo is once again showing his leadership by executive order calling for regulations today that safeguard access to contraception. The new regulations will: secure access to emergency contraception by implementing an open-prescription policy that is available to all New York women; require all over-the-counter birth control methods to be available with no copay; and ensure that the ability to procure 12 months of birth control be extended to people who qualify for Medicaid. These regulations support New Yorkers in reducing unintended pregnancies, which can happen in lapses between prescriptions for birth control or when access to emergency contraception is made more difficult. Today’s regulations codify into state law several provisions outlined in the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA), which the State Senate majority repeatedly blocked during a disappointing legislative session in Albany.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) applauds the Governor’s continued efforts to use his regulatory authority to ensure that contraception and abortion remain affordable and accessible in New York State, regardless of what happens in Washington, DC. The new regulations released today built on rules the Governor issued in 2017 to allow women to obtain 12-months of birth control at once and guarantee insurance coverage for abortion with no co-pay.

The following is a statement from NIRH President Andrea Miller:

“With President Trump poised to reshape the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade in extreme jeopardy, New Yorkers cannot wait any longer for our state government to provide safeguards for accessing contraception. Today’s executive order represents a rare bright spot for women who are rightly alarmed about the fate of reproductive health care in our country.”

“Governor Cuomo’s action proves that, regardless of what happens at the federal level, states have tremendous power to shape their own state laws and can act now to protect women from the full-blown assault on their reproductive health and rights. The best defense against a hostile Supreme Court and Trump-Pence Administration is a strong state-level offense. States around the country should take note of this action – and the Governor’s previous regulations – and help lead the movement for reproductive freedom from the ground up. With seemingly relentless and negative news surrounding reproductive freedom coming daily, it is critical that states step up to counter this hostile environment.

“The Governor’s action today cannot be the final word on advancing reproductive freedom in New York. Much remains to be done – perhaps most troubling, New York’s abortion law remains woefully out of date. It’s high time to decriminalize abortion care and enshrine these rights into our state law. With Trump expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee tonight, we strongly urge the State Senate to reconvene to pass the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), so that New Yorkers would know, once and for all, that our state laws protect and respect women’s reproductive decisions.”


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.