In the Face of Dire Bans and Uncertain Future, Cities and States Take Actions to Protect and Expand Access to Abortion Care

September 15, 2021
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

As a number of states enact restrictions and bans on abortion, some cities and states are moving to protect access to abortion  

 NEW YORK – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) applauds the states and localities that are taking various actions to protect and expand access to abortion care.  

In Portland, Oregon: The Portland City Council today voted to allocate $200,000 to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAF) in order to provide needed direct support and resources to those trying to access abortion care, especially in the wake of Texas’s ban on abortion. NIRH was proud to work in partnership with NWAAF and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon to pass this important budget allocation.  

With this funding allocation, Portland becomes the third city across the country in recent years to grant municipal resources for abortion care and support. In 2019, NIRH worked with partners in New York City to secure municipal funding to the New York Abortion Access Fund to provide direct support to people seeking abortion care, followed by Austin, Texas, which allocated funding for practical support for abortion access.  

In Louisville, Kentucky: the city of Louisville is painting the city’s first safety zone on the sidewalk outside of EMW Women’s Surgical Center abortion clinic, after years of tireless work by NIRH and our partners on the ground. Anti-abortion protestors have long besieged the EMW clinic, violently harassing patients, their companions, and providers who seek to enter the clinic. The safety zone provides a bright line to keep the peace and ensure greater safety for all seeking and providing care. 

In Florida: The City of Wilton Manors passed a resolution this week pledging to advance health outcomes by firmly committing to reproductive freedom. Led by Commissioner Chris Caputo, the City Commission committed to protecting access to abortion and reproductive health care. Last week, Fort Lauderdale passed a resolution committing to protect reproductive freedom. 

In New York: earlier this week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an agenda to protect and expand access to abortion care, including a call for updated, advocate-informed guidance on continued implementation of the Reproductive Health Act, a Patient Bill of Rights, and a public information campaign on abortion care. Governor Hochul also called for removing barriers to the provision of abortion services via telehealth. 

“The crisis of abortion access is at a fever pitch, and with the future of Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, we must press forward in every state and city we can to secure equitable access to abortion care,” said Andrea Miller, president of NIRH and its Action Fund. “Elected leaders at every level of government, in every state and city in this country, have a responsibility to protect equitable access to abortion care right now, and we are happy to see the states and localities that are stepping up.”  


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. For more than 40 years, NIRH has been partnering with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change. NIRH’s strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.