These two important pieces of legislation safeguard access to abortion care and contraception throughout the state, shielding New York residents from the dangerous effects of ongoing federal efforts to undermine reproductive rights.
Both bills were passed by the state Assembly and Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 22 — the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling — and then signed into law the same day by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“With a White House actively working to tear apart the fabric that makes up our nation’s vital family planning safety net, and a new anti-Roe majority now seated on the U.S. Supreme Court, it was critical New York’s lawmakers took action to protect the health and rights of our state’s residents,” Debra Marcus, Family Planning’s chief executive officer, said.
The Reproductive Health Act enshrines into state law the right to choose abortion care as recognized in Roe v. Wade, protects health care providers who perform abortions from criminal prosecution and regulates abortion as a public health, not a criminal, matter.
“Abortion care is health care, not a crime,” Marcus said. “The RHA affirms that reproductive freedom is a fundamental component of equality and privacy.”
The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act enshrines the advances of the Affordable Care Act into New York state law, to ensure an individual’s timely and affordable access to the birth control method that’s best suited for their health and wellness.
Specifically, the CCCA requires health insurance policies to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices with no co-pay, allows for a patient to access a year’s supply of contraception at one time, and makes it easier for New Yorkers to use insurance to cover emergency contraception by allowing pharmacists to dispense it directly — similar to flu shots and the shingles vaccine.
“Patients, not politicians, should make the health care decisions that are best for them,” Marcus said. “And with these two new laws, New York once again serves as a national leader in protecting and strengthening access to reproductive health care, at a time when it is at great risk.”