The agenda below describes our advocacy priorities in 2012 at the state level.
Funding for Family Planning Providers
In a moment when families are facing losses of jobs and benefits, communities increasingly depend on family planning providers for programs and health care services supported by critical state grant funding.
For example, family planning providers have witnessed a steady increase in the number of patients paying out of pocket on a sliding fee scale—a mechanism that is supported by state grants. And even with the sliding scale, patients have more difficulty paying their share, making the need for grant funds much greater.
The services Planned Parenthood of New York City provides include life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, pregnancy testing and options counseling, testing and treatment of STDs, and sexual health education.
It is critical that we maintain state funding to ensure our health care centers are able to serve our communities and that New Yorkers have access to affordable health care services.
Comprehensive Sex Education
Research shows that comprehensive, medically accurate, ageappropriate sex education helps delay the onset of intercourse, increase condom and contraceptive use, and decrease the number of sexual partners of participants in sex education programs.
Seventy-seven (77) percent of New York voters support teaching sex education in the state’s public schools. Comprehensive sex
education is what parents say they want, students say they need, and science says works.
Every young person in New York should have access to information and develop the skills that are necessary to make safe and responsible decisions.
We urge legislators to advance the teaching of comprehensive sex education in New York public schools and to visit one of PPNYC’s sex education programs.
Health Benefit Exchange
The Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) is a requirement of the federal Affordable Care Act. It will serve as a centralized system that eligible individuals, families, and small businesses can use to purchase affordable health insurance coverage that meets their needs.
Passage of Health Benefit Exchange legislation is critical because building a quality Exchange that meets the needs of New Yorkers takes significant resources and time.
The legislation is required to secure significant federal grant funds necessary for the state to construct the Exchange.
The Exchange Board, whose creation hinges on passage of Exchange legislation, needs to be established in sufficient time to work with existing state agencies to build the Exchange and to develop protocols for interactions with commercial and public health insurance programs.
It is urgent that New York State passes legislation to build the Exchange through which all women, men, and adolescents will receive high-quality health care.
Enact the Reproductive Health Act
The Reproductive Health Act guarantees a New York woman’s ability to make personal, private decisions about her reproductive health care, even if federal law changes. Three quarters of New Yorkers want the Reproductive Health Act to be passed.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) implements the following important updates to state law:
- Ensures that a woman will be able to have an abortion if her health is endangered
- Regulates abortion care in the public health code, rather than in the criminal code
- Guarantees the right to use or refuse contraception
We ask legislators to pass RHA so that the health of New York women will be protected.