Senator Michelle Hinchey Marks 49th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Announces Two Bills to Expand Reproductive Health Care Access

Michelle Hinchey

January 22, 2022

Senator Michelle Hinchey delivers speech at Hudson Valley Strong - Indivisible's Rally for Abortion Justice on October 2, 2021, in Kingston.

ALBANY, NY On the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade, Senator Michelle Hinchey announced two bills to protect and expand reproductive health care rights in New York State. One bill would make it easier for New Yorkers to access emergency contraception and a second bill would require general hospitals to disclose what health care services are excluded from their service structure to ensure that New Yorkers know what care is available to them at their local hospital.

“Across the country, access to health care is under attack like never before, but here in New York, we will continue to fight for a future where people have full autonomy over their reproductive rights,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “By ensuring that people have timely access to emergency contraception when and where they need it and accurate information on the services available at their local hospital, these two bills reaffirm what the Supreme Court established nearly fifty years ago: reproductive health care is a fundamental right. I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which represents a critical step towards greater health equity for all New Yorkers.”

The legislation sponsored by Hinchey is as follows: 

Eliminating Prescription Barriers for Emergency Contraception
This legislation (S7860) would now allow people seeking emergency contraception to receive it from New York State pharmacists, registered nurses, and licensed midwives without an extra trip to the doctor’s office and paying more money out-of-pocket. This helps New Yorkers bypass difficulties they may face with transportation, finances and limited time off of work.

Strengthening Hospital Transparency Around Access to Reproductive Services
This legislation (S5400) directs the Department of Health to collect a list of policy-based exclusions from every general hospital on an annual basis and publish that list on its website to ensure that New Yorkers have access to information about what services are or are not available within their community.

Too often, New Yorkers have difficulty determining whether the hospital in their area provides the care they need prior to admission because many hospitals do not make this information readily available. Information about services, including reproductive care, end-of-life care, gender-affirming care, and certain kinds of organ transplants are some of the most difficult to obtain. Hinchey’s bill will ensure that people can get the information they need to make both time-sensitive and important health care decisions. The measure will also help the state identify service gaps that are leaving entire regions of the state without access to certain types of health care.

Senator Michelle Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Greene and Montgomery Counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties. Senator Hinchey serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Energy and Telecommunications, Environmental Conservation, and Local Government Committees.

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