ALBANY, NY – Yesterday, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi joined legislators and advocates in calling for the passage of the New York State Abortion Access Fund in the final days of the legislative session. Bill S758/A1926 creates a fund which allows taxpayers to voluntarily contribute on their personal income tax returns financial support for organizations that provide financial and logistical assistance to people with limited access to abortion care.
While abortion access is deemed a right under New York State law, many people face financial barriers such as travel expenses, child care expenses, and the cost of the procedure itself, limiting their access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. Abortion access organizations work to address these obstacles and provide necessary support to those seeking an abortion. These organizations are sustained by donations and are predominantly staffed by volunteers who function as case managers working with patients and providers. If enacted, New York’s Abortion Access Fund would raise money to support local organizations working to ensure the right to an abortion is a reality for all across the state.
“Just a few weeks ago, our country learned the United States Supreme Court plans to take up a case on the right to abortion in the state of Mississippi –– the outcome of which could overturn the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. As abortion rights are under attack across this country, New York State must continue to be a beacon of light for those seeking care by creating an Abortion Access Fund. Far too many low-income New Yorkers, young people, people of color, and undocumented immigrants face financial barriers to accessing abortion care. We must take the next step in our fight for reproductive justice and create the New York State Abortion Access Fund to ensure that access to abortion is not just a right under New York State law –– but a reality," said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
“Although the state provides coverage for abortions through Medicaid, many New Yorkers still face costly barriers due to being just out of range of programs that provide financial assistance. The creation of an Abortion Access Fund would bridge the gap for those unable to afford abortion procedures. We must commit to ensuring that anyone who seeks an abortion does not have to ever consider the cost associated with their procedure. Reproductive health issues are social justice issues that must be addressed by enacting robust solutions that aid those pushed to the margins of our society.” said Assemblymember Karines Reyes.
“Calling for the passage of the New York State Abortion Access Fund is a no-brainer. Increasing abortion access creates equity in sexual and reproductive health, especially in communities with long-standing racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive health access services. Establishing the Abortion Access Fund in New York State will help strengthen the ability of OB-GYNs and other clinicians to provide necessary services and improve outcomes by reducing reproductive health disparities. Let’s get it done!” said State Senator Robert Jackson.
"Two years ago we enacted the Reproductive Health Act, affirming that abortion is healthcare. This Abortion Access Fund, funded not by taxpayer dollars but by voluntary donations from the many New Yorkers who feel strongly about reproductive rights, would provide access to patients who otherwise could not afford this healthcare," said State Senator John Liu.
"Guaranteeing abortion access is an issue of justice and equity. Restrictions and other obstacles most acutely impact those with limited resources to navigate barriers to care including individuals with low incomes or no incomes, people of color, those who are undocumented, young people, and people in rural areas. Here in New York, we believe everyone should have the ability to make their own health care decisions and the means necessary to do so. This is why we must support the critical work of abortion access funds – who break down barriers to care and make the right to abortion a reality for those who find it out of reach," said Robin Chappelle Golston, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.
"Every person seeking health care in New York should be able to make their own decisions and have the means to do so -- especially when it comes to abortion care. The Abortion Access Fund would allow everyday New Yorkers to support abortion access with their contributions and send a bold statement normalizing and destigmatizing abortion care at a time when the Supreme Court threatens to dismantle Roe v. Wade." said Andrea Miller, President, National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund.