NYS Misses Opportunity to Stand Up for New Yorkers
(ALBANY NY) While the 2019 New York State budget process offered the opportunity to safeguard women’s reproductive health care and rights, the final budget has left that promise unfilled. Now, while the federal government continues attempts to dial back essential health care coverage, refuses to be a champion for the underprivileged and support our public institutions, New Yorkers are left to wait and wonder when it comes to our health, well-being, and future.
“We are very disappointed that New York’s leaders could not pass a budget that provided critical health care protections for women. Our fundamental needs are never negotiable – from contraception to abortion – and are not bargaining chips that can be bartered away without real consequences to the women of our state. It is also deeply disturbing that we could not pass much needed progressive reforms around voting and criminal justice. We will take all necessary action this legislative session to ensure these valuable proposals are enacted for the good of all New Yorkers, and we stand in solidarity with all advocates for a better New York because every issue is a women’s issue.
The failure to include the Women’s Agenda - 13 provisions that would have made a real difference in the health, safety, economic security and equality of women and girls – reflects poorly on our state’s progressive legacy. Proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Executive Budget, these provisions were strongly supported by Planned Parenthood and women’s advocates statewide. Four of these provisions are central to women’s health and rights:
Decriminalizing Abortion: Repeal abortion from NYS penal code so that abortion, like all other medical procedures, is regulated by the Public Health and Education Law.
Improving Access to Contraception: With ongoing federal attempts to roll back the ACA’s coverage mandate, our state must ensure consistent and affordable coverage.
Preventing Maternal Mortality: Establish a Maternal Mortality Review Board to develop strategies to reduce the unacceptably high rate of maternal mortality.
Advancing Comprehensive Sex Education: Require the State Education Commissioner to create a program to help students establish healthy relationships and to create model comprehensive sex education curriculum.
Heading into the remaining legislative session, Planned Parenthood advocates statewide will be pushing their elected representatives for real action for New Yorkers.
New York’s Planned Parenthood health centers offer everyone equal access to basic reproductive and preventative health care. Planned Parenthood is a key safety-net health care provider, essential to ensuring access to reproductive, sexual and basic health care statewide in urban, suburban and rural communities, especially for low-income and marginalized New Yorkers.
Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts is a non-profit, statewide organization dedicated to protecting and expanding access to a full range of reproductive health care services. It represents New York’s Planned Parenthood affiliates and works to protect and expand access to reproductive health care for all New Yorkers.