Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York State will be investing tens of millions of dollars toward abortion care and providers with the prospect of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade looming, following the leak of a draft opinion indicating that would happen.
On Tuesday, Hochul revealed that $35 million will be allocated to the cause statewide. She is directing the state health department to create an abortion-provider fund which will receive $25 million in funding to later distribute to those who provide abortion care. The governor says the money will come from the health commissioner’s emergency fund, so the funding won’t need to be reallocated for that purpose.
The remaining $10 million will be disbursed by the Division of Criminal Justice Services as “safety and security capital grants” to help bolster the security at reproductive-health clinics and other abortion providers and to secure the safety of their patients and staff. The distribution of the funds would begin as soon as an official decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is reached and announced by the Supreme Court.
“To truly ensure that anyone seeking an abortion in New York has access to that, we have to ensure that the providers have the resources and the capacity to accommodate all patients who walk through their doors,” Hochul said during a virtual press conference. “It’s simple. If we’re going to guarantee the right to an abortion, we have to guarantee access to an abortion.”
Hochul called the abortion-provider fund “nation-leading” and the first fund of its kind in the State of New York.
“We’re not playing defense. We’re playing offense,” Hochul said.
Hochul’s announcement comes a day after state attorney general Letitia James declared her support for legislation that would establish a state program to expand abortion access for low-income New Yorkers and also for those traveling to New York from another state seeking care.