Governor Hochul Announces Nation-leading $35 Million Investment to Support Abortion Providers in New York
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced a nation-leading $35 million investment to directly support abortion providers in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Governor Hochul directed the Department of Health to create a $25 million Abortion Provider Support Fund for abortion providers in order to both expand capacity and ensure access for patients seeking abortion care in New York. The Governor also announced $10 million for reproductive health care centers to access security grants through the Division of Criminal Justice Services to help ensure the safety of the providers performing this vital care.
“New York has always been at the forefront of the fight for abortion rights, and as the first female Governor of New York, I will not let us go backwards,” Governor Hochul said. “I will never stop fighting to make New York a safe harbor for all who need care and a blueprint for other states to follow. To truly guarantee that everyone who needs an abortion can get one in New York State, we must ensure that providers have the resources, capacity, and protections they need. This landmark funding will get resources into the hands of clinics who need our help — safeguarding access to abortion in our state and setting an example for the rest of the nation to follow.”
Abortion Provider Support Fund
Governor Hochul today directed the Department of Health to allocate $25 million to create the State’s first abortion provider fund and the nation’s largest such fund. The Department of Health will release an expedited application for both grant and reimbursement requests from providers, and will begin distributing funds to providers by the time a final Supreme Court decision would be released.
Security Grants for Reproductive Health Centers
Governor Hochul also directed the Division of Criminal Justice Services to administer $10 million in funding for safety and security capital grants for abortion providers and reproductive health centers to further secure their facilities and ensure the safety of patients and staff. A request for proposals to allow organizations to apply is expected to be issued by the time a final Supreme Court decision would be released. Application of this new funding will be modeled after Governor Hochul’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program, which provides grants to strengthen safety and security measures at buildings owned or operated by nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or missions.
Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York has taken actions to provide access to quality, affordable reproductive healthcare – including abortion services. Earlier this year, the Department of Health finalized regulations aligning New York law with clinical standards to remove barriers to service delivery, including abortion via telemedicine, and last week sent guidance to providers regarding their legal right to provide abortion services. The Governor has also convened an Abortion Access Working Group, meeting regularly with patients, providers, and advocates to guide state policy and respond to on-the-ground needs, and enshrined into law a requirement for health plans to cover abortion services without cost-sharing in the State Budget.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Abortion rights are enshrined into New York State law, and New York will always provide safe access to abortions for all who need them. As we face Roe’s reversal, thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, we will not diminish these fundamental health care rights, but expand, increase, and broaden them. Through this nation-leading fund and increased support, we are getting resources directly to the providers who care for New Yorkers seeking abortions and those who are – and will be – coming to New York to seek this care.”
Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, “Governor Hochul is committed to ensuring that New York State, a national leader in the Women’s Rights Movement, does everything it can to protect a woman’s right to choose. We know family planning organizations that provide affordable, routine health care are often targeted because they also offer reproductive health services. These security grants will help enhance the safety of staff and individuals seeking care at these organizations.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Rights are only as good as your ability to access them, especially for time-sensitive reproductive care. As New York stands at the national forefront of the pro-choice fight, we must ensure that these services are adequately supported so that no one is boxed out of care due to strained resources. In addition to actions previously taken by the Senate Majority to codify Roe v. Wade into state law, allowing us to withstand any Supreme Court decision, we are proactively bolstering our reproductive healthcare sector and ensuring they can absorb any influx of patients.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “New York was the first State to enact laws safeguarding women’s reproductive health in 1970, just three years before Roe v. Wade offered federal protection. More than 50 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court may be dragging us back in time and threatening women’s access to family planning services. Women will not be treated as second-class citizens and told what to do with their bodies here in New York. My Assembly colleagues and I are proud to partner with Governor Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Steward-Cousins to bolster the resources of providers in this state to ensure they have the capacity to meet the vital healthcare needs of the people they serve.”
State Senator Cordell Cleare said, “As Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Women’s Issues, I commend the Governor for her initial $25 million commitment to support the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program. I pledge to work tirelessly with all of my colleagues to build upon this funding and pass a spectrum of bills to ensure that New York is a beacon for women’s health and reproductive freedom.”
Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts Interim President and CEO Georgana Hanson said, “This is an historic and important investment in the abortion provider network which will be used to expand capacity for providing care across our state and further protect the safety of our patients, providers, and staff. We know this will be a long fight, with evolving challenges along the way. Together, we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a beacon for bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and freedom to access abortion care. The Governor’s leadership at this pinnacle moment is crucial and this investment imperative. We look forward to our continued work with the Governor and the legislature to expand the accessibility of abortion care in NY to all who need it regardless of who they are, where they live or how much money they make.”
National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund President Andrea Miller said, “In an ideal world, no one would have to leave their communities to access abortion care. But as the Supreme Court clears the way for states to ban abortion, we expect that people across the nation will turn to New York for care. With this $25M allocation, Governor Hochul is taking a key step in ensuring that our state is prepared by expanding provider capacity and clinic safety across the state. In addition to this allocation, we will continue to work with the legislature to secure funding to ensure that all individuals who seek abortion care in New York can do so without financial barriers.”
Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York President and CEO Michelle Casey said, “As a provider, a timely infusion of funds ensures we can grow our capacity to meet this moment. Today, we face many challenges meeting the needs in our communities, and that need will only grow as states across our country severely limit or ban abortion access. We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. We believe your body is your own. You and only you should control your personal medical decisions. No politicians, no bans, and no court ruling should ever interfere in your ability to access abortion. As a trusted provider of abortion care, we want to ensure high quality and timely care is available to all who seek it. This funding will help make that mission a reality.”
Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union Donna Lieberman said, “Our state first opened its doors to those who need abortion care five decades ago, and three years before the Court decided Roe. As federal reproductive rights are decimated and states continue to ban access, New York will be a beacon for people who need abortion care — including women, girls, transgender men, and non-binary people. In New York today, the Reproductive Health Act protects abortion in our public health law — but this isn’t enough. To truly lead the way and create meaningful access, there is even more New York must do, and today, New York has taken a necessary step to meet the moment by providing $25 million to fund abortion care. We cannot stop until abortion is accessible for anyone who needs it. The NYCLU will work tirelessly to ensure New York creates protections in our state constitution by passing an Equality Amendment, invests funding needed to access care, and ensures that anyone needing care knows that, in New York, abortion is your right.”
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District II Executive Director Christa R. Christakis said, “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) District II is proud to stand with Governor Hochul and the elected officials who understand the importance of prioritizing funding for abortion care givers, including ob-gyns, during this critical moment in our nation’s history. Their swift response and proactive action fulfills immediate needs to support access in our state. We look forward to additional proactive work and partnership to ensure we meet the many challenges of those seeking abortion care.”