Sponsored by: the National Institute for Reproductive Health, the New York Abortion Access Fund, All* Above All, Planned Parenthood of New York City, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health New York LAN, Reproductive Health Access Project, Lady Parts Justice League, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum NYC Chapter, the National Council of Jewish Women New York, and WHARR.
Many New Yorkers still struggle to access abortion. In New York, we are fortunate that state-based Medicaid and most insurance plans cover abortion care. However, people still fall through the cracks and some seeking care in our state are still unable to get the services they need.
We call on the New York City Council to expand the Reproductive and Sexual Health Services Initiative in the FY2020 city budget to include $250,000 in funding to the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF). NYAAF helps hundreds of people each year pay for the abortion care they need when facing economic and logistical barriers to access. This support would make New York the first city in the nation to directly fund abortion care.
There are many reasons why people in New York may not be able to pay for the cost of their abortion care. Some people have federal insurance coverage that does not cover abortion care (including members of the military, veterans, and other federal employees). Others are uninsured, cannot use their insurance for privacy or safety reasons, or cannot afford an abortion despite insurance coverage (e.g. due to a high deductible). For low-income individuals, who are disproportionately black, Latinx, immigrants, or refugees, additional expenses such as travel, unpaid time off of work, and child care can push abortion care entirely out of reach, and/or force them to choose between basic necessities (like rent and food) and paying for an abortion.
As other states continue to pass laws that restrict abortion access and the right to legal abortion comes under unprecedented attack nationwide, New York should set the national standard as a place where abortion is not only accessible, but affordable for all. By expanding the Reproductive and Sexual Health Services Initiative by $250,000 to fund abortion care via NYAAF, the New York City Council can directly aid New Yorkers and other individuals seeking abortion care while leading the country on health equity and justice.