DATE: January 24, 2023
CONTACT: Susannah Berlowe Binder, [email protected]
NIRH President Andrea Miller Celebrates “Tremendous Victory” for Protecting Reproductive Freedoms Through Advancement of Crucial Bills
New York, New York — Today, on the heels of what would have been the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York State Legislature took action to shore up abortion access in New York State, passing a slate of legislation to protect and expand abortion access and enshrine important protections into New York State’s constitution and completing the second passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) has long been advocating for many of these critical legislative actions, including the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Act and bills to increase hospital transparency, protect abortion providers, and strengthen access to contraception in pharmacies. NIRH has also long advocated for full passage of the Equal Right Amendment.
“The New York State Senate answered the calls of advocates, health care providers, and people of New York by passing such a robust package of bills to protect and expand access to reproductive health care, especially abortion care. Even in a state like New York, we cannot rest easy simply because the right to make reproductive decisions is protected – we must take bold action to ensure that right is a reality for every New Yorker and every person seeking care, wherever they may live,” Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund said. “From funding abortion care and practical support and investing in the reproductive health infrastructure to providing additional protections to our courageous abortion providers to enhancing the availability of contraception, the Senate has set an excellent example of bold leadership – showing how to use every lever of power they have to protect and expand access to care.
Today, we celebrate the passage of these critical bills – and tomorrow, we call on the Assembly and the Governor to join the Senate in making New York a true beacon of access.”
NIRH applauds the legislature for the second passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, clearing the path for New York voters to enshrine vital protections into our state constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment would expand New York state’s constitution to comprehensively prohibit discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sex – including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Notably, the Equal Rights Amendment would protect not only abortion but provide protections against discrimination for all pregnancy outcomes.
The Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program will create a sustained funding mechanism through the NYS Department of Health to provide grants to abortion providers, abortion funds, and practical support organizations – the entities that help individuals navigate otherwise insurmountable barriers to accessing care and make the right to care a reality for people seeking abortions. The Hospital Transparency legislation will give New York the tools to identify regions in the state where particular types of care are unavailable and to understand the impacts of such gaps on communities statewide. The “Provider Protection” bill builds on these important provisions to further clarify that New York State will not be complicit in attempts by other states to punish the provision, receipt, or support of reproductive health care services, including abortion care. The Pharmacy Access for Contraception legislation is designed to improve access to affordable contraception to advance bodily autonomy and the health and well-being of women and those with the capacity to become pregnant.
This package of bills is a critical measure that will help make the right to make reproductive decisions a reality, especially for those who often face financial and logistical barriers to abortion care. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, NIRH urges state and local lawmakers across the country to follow this standard set by New York and take a stand and safeguard the right to abortion and expand access to this critical care.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance equitable access to reproductive health care. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.