New York City to Directly Fund Abortion

Viva Ruiz from "Thank God For Abortion" poses for a photo as she takes part in an abortion rights rally in front of the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York on May 21, 2019. - Demonstrations were planned across the US on Tuesday in defense of …

New York City will put up $250,000 to allow women who travel from states that restrict abortion to terminate their pregnancies in the city.

“We heard the news on the abortion bans across the country,” City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera said, reported the New York Times. “Many of us in New York felt helpless. We wanted to do more.”

According to the news report, the allocated money will go into an abortion access fund that could allow about 500 women to end their pregnancies. Some abortion rights activists say New York is the first city to directly fund the procedure.

Aziza Ahmed, a Northeastern University law professor, told the Times a “culture war” is taking place.

“There haven’t been that many city and state public officials to say we should publicly fund abortions,” she said. “It’s a big statement.”

The Times continued:

The abortion access fund provides payment to clinics on behalf of women who might not be able to pay for abortions, but are not covered by insurance or Medicaid. Roughly a third of the fund goes to women who come to New York for abortions.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health worked with officials with the New York Abortion Access Fund to press the city to begin directly funding abortions. A woman seeking an abortion reportedly can contact the fund which, after an assessment, will send payment for her abortion directly to the clinic.

Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, said, “This is something that has been done kind of quietly. I’ve been sitting with crossed fingers and toes.”

According to the most recent abortion data available (2015) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and those published by the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the number of babies aborted in New York City at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy (1,485) outnumbered homicide victims (352).

Additionally, in 2014, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office released a report that revealed more black babies are aborted than are born in that city.

Overall, 42.4% of abortions in New York City were performed on black babies, while another 31% came from the Hispanic community.

In January, New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, which allows abortions “at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.”

When the U.S. Supreme Court created a right to abortion in 1973, however, it defined the ‘health’ exception to broadly include any number of factors, such as “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.”

The New York law defines a “person” as a “human being who has been born and is alive,” a description that eliminates recognition of “personhood” in unborn babies.

Upon signing the bill into law, Cuomo ordered the World Trade Center complex to be illuminated in pink to celebrate the Empire State’s approval of abortion as a “fundamental right.”

The governor, however, received a barrage of criticism for celebrating abortion.

A Marist poll released at the end of March found an overwhelming majority of New York state residents are opposed to abortion later in pregnancy.

According to the survey, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, 75 percent of New Yorkers oppose abortion after the fifth month of pregnancy, including 69 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents, and 89 percent of Republicans.

While most New Yorkers (62 percent) identify as pro-choice as opposed to pro-life (34 percent), the poll found a majority of New Yorkers would actually limit abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy.

“New Yorkers simply do not support laws that allow late-term abortions,” said Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, in a statement. “It is now clear that these radical policies are being pursued despite opposition by the majority of New Yorkers, and by a majority of those who identify as Democrats, Republicans and independents.”

The poll found 63 percent of New Yorkers also say abortion should be “generally illegal” in the last trimester of pregnancy, while 32 percent say it should be “generally legal.” This outcome includes 53 percent of New York Democrats, 65 percent of independents, and 84 percent of Republicans.

Additionally, in February, a Siena College poll found Cuomo’s approval rating had plummeted by eight percentage points in the month following the signing of the Reproductive Health Act into law — from 51 to 43 percent.

According to the poll, the percentage of those who view Cuomo unfavorably climbed from 43 to 50 percent during that period, leaving the governor with his popularity at its lowest point since 2011, when he first took office.


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