New York Advances Abortion Rights Through Attorney General Opinion, Ithaca Common Council Resolution

Sept. 8, 2016
Contact: Christie Petrone, 646-520-3504, [email protected]

National Institute for Reproductive Health Praises New York’s Leadership, Urges Legislature to Align State Law

NEW YORK —The National Institute for Reproductive Health today applauded New York’s leadership on women’s rights as it advanced access to abortion yesterday through two separate mechanisms at both the local and state level.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a formal legal opinion clarifying New York women’s constitutional right to have an abortion and reducing ambiguity in the law that deterred providers from performing abortions after 24 weeks if a woman’s health were in jeopardy or her pregnancy were not viable. This action was especially necessary in light of the state Senate’s inaction on the Reproductive Services Act.

Separately, the Ithaca Common Council passed a resolution on the same day calling on Congress and President Obama to reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services for women enrolled in public insurance programs by enacting the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act. The EACH Woman Act would ensure abortion access for every woman who receives care or insurance through the federal government by prohibiting political interference in insurance coverage of abortion.

“New York has once again proven itself to be a national leader on reproductive health care,” said National Institute for Reproductive Health President Andrea Miller. “The common thread between yesterday’s two advancements is the intent to eliminate the system-wide inequalities that disproportionately burden low-income women who lack the means to pay out of pocket or travel out of state to obtain an abortion.

“The Attorney General and the Ithaca Common Council join New York’s pro-choice majority in supporting access to abortion. It is now incumbent upon the state legislature to fully align itself with voters’ desires and pass legislation this next session that ensures a woman’s ability to obtain abortion care later in pregnancy when her health is at risk or the fetus is non-viable.”

For 40 years, politicians have used the Hyde Amendment to deny coverage for abortion care for those insured through Medicaid and other federal insurance programs. The National Institute for Reproductive Health, in conjunction with the All* Above All campaign, has worked with partners in nine localities across the country, including Ithaca, to pass resolutions calling for the lifting of the bans that deny abortion coverage; localities that previously passed such resolutions include Cook County, Ill.; Madison, Wis.; Seattle, Wash.; Cambridge, Mass.; New York, NY; Philadelphia, Penn.; Travis County, Texas; and San Francisco, Calif.

Later this month, New York will join advocates in cities and states across the country in taking action for the United for Abortion Coverage Week of Action, Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, marking the 40th year under the Hyde Amendment. Nearly 60 organizations in 38 states will host activities that show support for lifting bans on abortion coverage for low-income women.


The National Institute for Reproductive Health works across the country to increase access to reproductive health care by changing public policy, galvanizing public support, and normalizing women’s decisions to have abortions and use contraception.