At PPHP, we have several legislative priorities that we are working on, and need your help. Below are some ways you can involved. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].
Combating Maternal Mortality: Extending Medicaid Coverage 1 Year Post Pregnancy (A.307-Gottfried/S.1411-Rivera)
New York’s maternal mortality rates are unacceptably high, especially for Black womxn who are 3 to 4 times more likely to die compared to white womxn. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 pregnancy-related deaths occur between one-week and one-year postpregnancy, and 60% of all maternal deaths are preventable. Experts agree, expanding Medicaid coverage from the current 60 days post pregnancy to 1-year post pregnancy is a critical next step to addressing maternal mortality rates.
Improve Access to Midwifery-led Birthing Centers (A.259-Gottfried/S.1414-Rivera).
Every person has a right to give birth with dignity, in a safe and supported environment of their choosing. Midwives provide high-quality, patient-centered maternity care. Experts, including the World Health Organization, recommend midwives as an evidence-based approach for reducing maternal mortality. New York should identify opportunities to expand access to midwifery care, including passing legislation that supports the establishment of freestanding birthing centers led by licensed midwives, and advancing initiatives that will increase the diversity of midwives across the state.
Abortion Access Fund (A.1926-Reyes/S.758-Biaggi)
This legislation would establish an Abortion Access Fund and permit taxpayers to voluntarily contribute to it on their state income tax return form. The money raised through this mechanism would be distributed by the Department of Health to nonprofit organizations providing logistical and financial support to individuals who find access to abortion care out of reach.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) (S.2584-Brouk)
The inclusion of comprehensive, medically accurate, culturally, age and developmentally appropriate sexuality education (CSE) in publicly funded K-12 schools statewide.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) Study Bill (S.470-Hoylman)
Anti-abortion pregnancy centers often masquerade as full-service health centers promising customers services including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and unbiased counseling. Anecdotal evidence suggests their main purpose is to persuade women not to seek abortion care. This legislation will advance the study of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers (commonly referred to as CPCs) in our state to understand how they function and affect reproductive health care.
Vacating Offenses Resulting from Sex Trafficking (A.459-Gottfried/S.674-Ramos)
Relates to confidentiality of records in proceedings to vacate convictions for offenses resulting from sex trafficking, labor trafficking and compelling prostitution.
Ending Solitary Confinement (A.2277-Aubry)
The United Nations considers solitary confinement exceeding 15 days to be torture. People who experience solitary confinement can suffer severe and irreparable mental and physical harm due to sensory deprivation and lack of human interaction. PPHP supports The HALT Solitary Confinement Act (A.2277-Aubry) which would ban special populations from isolated confinement, ensure stronger protections for vulnerable populations, set a 15-day time-cap on all segregated confinement, and improve conditions for those held in solitary.
2019 Legislative Accomplishments
Protect funding for family planning and reproductive health care services.
- Reproductive Health Act (A 21 Glick/S 240 Krueger): Preserves access to safe, legal abortion. Passed by the Assembly and Senate and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 22, 2019.
- Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (A 585-A Cahill/S 659-A Salazar): Strengthen contraceptive access through insurance. Passed by the Assembly and Senate on January 22, 2019 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12, 2019.
- Maternal Mortality Review Board (A 3276 Joyer/S 1819 Rivera): Establishes a Maternal Mortality Review Board to review every maternal death that takes place in the state and to develop strategies aimed at preventing maternal deaths and complications in the future is a step forward. Passed the Assembly and Senate on March 20, 2019 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 2, 2019.
- Banning Unconsented Pelvic Exams (A 6325 Solages/S 1092 Persaud): Unconsented pelvic exams are a violation of consent and bodily autonomy, widely unnecessary, and they normalize toxic behavior that displays individual’s bodies as open for unconsented invasion. The practice of unconsented pelvic exams is outlawed in Hawaii, California, Illinois, Virginia, Utah, and Oregon, but it is still legal in the rest of the country, despite widespread condemnation of the practice. Passed the Senate on June 14, 2019 and the Assembly on June 18, 2019. Signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 7, 2019.
- GENDA (A 747 Gottfried/S 1047 Hoylman): Prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and includes offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the hate crimes statute. Passed both the Senate and Assembly on January 15, 2019 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 25, 2019.
- The Boss Bill (A 584 Jaffee/S 660 Metzger): Prevents employers from retaliating against employees based on their personal reproductive health care decisions. Passed by the Assembly and Senate on January 22, 2019 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on November 8, 2019.
- Expedited Partner Therapy (A 2998 Bichotte/S 1799 Rivera): Allows for Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) where the CDC recommends it. At present, that means the addition of gonorrhea. Passed by the Senate on April 14, 2019 and passed by the Assembly on April 25, 2019. Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on September 13, 2019
- Ending the Use of the Gay/Tran "Panic" Defense (A 8375 O'Donnell/S 6573 Hoylman): Eliminate the affirmative defense of extreme emotional distress in cases where the perpetrator became violent due to the “discovery, knowledge, or disclosure” of the victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex assigned at birth. Passed both the Senate and Assembly on June 19, 2019. Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 30, 2019.
- Child Victims Act (A 2683 Rosenthal/S2440 Hoylman): Extend by five years the criminal statute of limitations for sexual crimes committed against minors, allowing survivors more time to process and disclose. It would also extend the statute of limitations for civil actions until the victim turns 50 and open a window for the civil and criminal prosecution of cases that have already passed the current statute of limitations. Passed both the Senate and Assembly on January 28, 2019 and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 14, 2019.
- Voting Rights reform package: A participatory democracy creates a better government for all New Yorkers. To increase voter participation, New York must make voting more accessible. Voting reforms include early voting (A780 Lavine/S1102 Myrie), streamlined transfer of registration within the state (A775 Dinowitz/S1099 Carlucci), no excuse absentee voting (A 778 Vanel/S 1049 Comrie), same day registration (A 777 Carroll/S 1048 Gianaris), pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds (A 774 Lavine/S 1100 Carlucci), and extending the time for mailing overseas ballots for military personnel (A 779 Lavine/S 1103 Stewart-Cousins). Passed the Assembly and Senate on January 14th, 2019 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 24, 2019.
- Jose Peralta NYS DREAM Act (A 782 De La Rosa/S 1250 Sepulveda: Allows undocumented immigrants in New York to apply for state college tuition assistance. Passed by the Assembly and Senate on January 23, 2019 and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12, 2019.
- Menstrual Equity (A 290 Rosenthal / S 3125 Biaggi): Provides menstrual products free of charge in charter schools. Passed by the Senate and Assembly on February 27, 2019.
- Menstrual Product Labeling (A 164 Paulin/S 2387 Persaud): Requires all menstrual products sold in New York to include a printed list of ingredients. Passed by the Senate on June 17, 2019 and passed by the Assembly on June 20, 2019. Signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 11, 2019.