Contact: Carrie Mumah, [email protected], 212-274-7294
Planned Parenthood of New York City Thanks Legislators for Affirming Our Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
ALBANY, NY - Planned Parenthood of New York City applauds advocates and the New York State Legislature who today moved our state forward with milestone legislation securing sexual and reproductive health care and rights, including passing a groundbreaking bill updating New York’s abortion law for the first time since the law was originally passed in 1970.
In the face of constant federal attacks and a new anti-Roe v. Wade majority on the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie led their houses in passing legislation protecting and expanding essential sexual and reproductive health care, including the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) (A 21 Glick/S240 Krueger), protecting our right to abortion care; the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (A 585-A Cahill/S 659-A Salazar), strengthening contraceptive access; and the Boss Bill (A 584 Jaffee/S 660 Metzger), preventing employers from retaliating against employees based on their personal sexual and reproductive health care decisions.
As other states roll back abortion rights and access, the RHA enshrines the standard of Roe v. Wade in our state law. With over a decade of advocacy for the RHA, Planned Parenthood of New York City activists and other advocates statewide are celebrating New York’s commitment to protecting abortion access for all New Yorkers, and for anyone who may need to turn to our state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Statement from Laura McQuade, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City:
“Planned Parenthood of New York City celebrates today’s historic passage of three critical pieces of legislation that secure and expand New Yorkers’ access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care and protect their right to make their own personal decisions about their health, futures, and lives. With passage of the Reproductive Health Act, Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, and the Boss Bill, New York can finally grow to be a model of what sexual and reproductive health care should be, especially with mounting attacks on our health and rights from Washington. We thank the Senate and Assembly leadership, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, and the sponsors Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Senator Liz Krueger for their tireless advocacy on these issues. This is a historic day in New York and we are thrilled to see our legislation catch up with our progressive values in building the state our communities can thrive in.”
New York State legalized abortion in 1970, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court did nationally through the Roe v. Wade decision, and New Yorkers consistently supported abortion access in the following years. However, the state failed to update its abortion law, leaving providers and New Yorkers without full protection. New York activists lobbied for over a decade for state law to mirror Roe, only to hit a roadblock in the State Senate. Now, with a new pro-sexual and reproductive health majority elected to the Senate, this long-overdue legislation finally passed both houses.
“The November 2018 elections secured a solid sexual and reproductive health and rights majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in decades” said McQuade. “Today’s legislative victories are a direct result of New Yorkers electing leaders, to join our existing elected leaders, who share the values that we all hold dear. We can’t wait to see what else our champions in Albany accomplish for our communities this session.”
The RHA accomplishes three important things:
• Recognizes that abortion is health care, not a crime, by moving abortion law from criminal law to public health law where it belongs.
• Brings the protections of Roe v. Wade into state law by ensuring that New Yorkers can access needed care throughout pregnancy when their health or life is endangered, or their pregnancy is not viable.
• Clarifies that trained health care providers acting within their scope of practice can provide abortion care. This ensures that more New Yorkers have access to early and safe abortion care.
For an interview or more information about this legislation, please email [email protected].
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of sexual and reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Providing more than 100,000 patient visits annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer sexual and reproductive health services, including gynecological care, birth control, cancer screening, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV prevention, testing and counseling, transgender hormone therapy and vasectomy. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.