UPDATED 11:00 AM PT – Tuesday, May 10, 2022
The Empire State intends to put taxpayer funds towards abortions as New York races to expand access and funding in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.
At a press conference Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-N.Y.) touted the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program. James stressed the Democrat-sponsored bill will help to allocate funds to abortion providers and make the state a safe haven for abortion seekers.
“These funds will help New Yorkers who need financial support to seek abortions,” said James. “It will also provide and support the influx of individuals who have and will continue to come to New York from other states to seek abortions…if Roe is overturned, 26 states will ban or are likely to ban abortion.”
Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas (D-N.Y.) has hailed the bill’s equitable approach towards abortions as it will help women receive an abortion regardless of their immigration or insurance status. However, James added, that individuals will not be receiving payments as funding will go directly to institutions that perform abortions.
“This will not go to individuals, but actually to abortion providers and nonprofit organizations aimed at facilitating access to abortion care,” said James. “The funding would specifically go to increase access to health care and will also fund uncompensated care and to address the support needs of individuals accessing abortion care.”
The program is estimated to cost New York taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year and will cover the lodging, lost wages and childcare costs of women seeking abortions from out of state.
Some critics, such as Republican Assemblyman John Salka (R-N.Y.) has called the bill outrageous while claiming the state is ignoring the numerous other health issues that plague New York.
However, James holds abortion in such high regards that she has voiced her support to embed access to the procedure into the state Constitution.
“That’s why I came out over the weekend in support of a constitutional amendment,” added James. “The governor supports the effort…I join her in supporting a constitutional amendment to protect the right to privacy, which is implicit in our Constitution.”
Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has largely attached herself to the pro-abortion movement in her re-election bid, even calling upon Congress to codify Roe v. Wade into the US Constitution.
New York has the second highest abortion rate in the country behind the District of Columbia.