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IN WAKE OF ATTACKS ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, GOVERNOR HOCHUL VOWS TO FIGHT TO PROTECT ABORTION RIGHTS

Governor Joins with Attorney General James, Senator Gillibrand, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins to Fight Back Against Attacks on Fundamental Reproductive Rights 
 
State Stockpiling 150,000 Doses of Misoprostol, Working to Further Protect Access to Medication Abortion 
 
 
In the wake of multiple attacks on abortion access — including a federal court ruling in Texas restricting access to abortion medication and Florida's passage of a 6-week abortion ban — Governor Kathy Hochul today joined with Attorney General Letitia James, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and other legislative and advocate leaders to vow to continue fighting to protect abortion rights. 
   
"This has been a dark week for women across the country," Governor Hochul said. "While anti-choice extremists believe that they should decide what is best for your own health, I will never stop fighting back - standing shoulder to shoulder with our federal, state and local partners -- to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible in our state. For anyone who needs access to reproductive health care, New York will always welcome you with open arms."
 
Attorney General Letitia James said, "Here in New York, we believe that when it's your body, it should always be your choice. While male judges and governors across the country attempt to revoke the right to choose, we remain fierce in our protection of New Yorkers' bodily autonomy, and will do everything in our power as the leaders of this great state to ensure everyone gets the care they need. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership in protecting access to abortion, and we will continue to work together in defense of reproductive freedom for all who live and travel here."
 
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Reproductive freedom and women's bodily autonomy is under attack nationwide, which is why New York has taken strong action to protect the rights of patients, to empower reproductive health care providers, and to remain a safe haven for those seeking reproductive health care. I am grateful to have partners like Governor Hochul, Attorney General James and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins in this fight. Everyone should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and what is best for their families and their own reproductive health and I'm committed to doing everything in my power to find additional legislative solutions to protect access to reproductive health care."
 
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "The Senate Democratic Majority is committed to protecting reproductive rights and ensuring equitable access to comprehensive reproductive health care. We have achieved significant milestones, including passing the historic Reproductive Health Act and enacting sweeping legislation in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. New York also proves that when you have women in leadership who understand the impacts on the ground of these issues, real actions are taken to protect our rights. That is why I created the first Senate Committee on Women's Issues, chaired by Senator Lea Webb, to help drive these efforts. We will continue to work with Governor Hochul and our allies in government to guarantee New York State remains a beacon for reproductive justice."
 
State Senator Liz Krueger said, "From before the original Roe decision, New York State has been a leader in protecting the rights of all people to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions. The majority of Americans agree that abortion is healthcare - and when abortion is on the ballot and Americans are given a choice, they choose reproductive freedom. But right-wing extremists in the courts, in governor's mansions, and in legislatures around the country are intent on ignoring the American people to ram through their misogynistic forced-birth agenda. New York State must and will do all we can to ensure we protect the rights of New Yorkers and those who come here for reproductive healthcare treatment."
 
Assemblymember Karines Reyes said, "I applaud Governor Hochul and Attorney General James for their leadership, as women's fundamental rights and access to abortion medications are under attack. These actions are great first steps to countering the recent federal court rulings that critically threaten the health and well-being of New Yorkers. I look forward to collaborating with them, as these policies are implemented and on the development of new policy goals that will ensure full access to reproductive health care for all who call our state home."
 
Since the United States Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision last year, stripping away reproductive rights from millions, Governor Hochul has led the fight to ensure accessibility for all who seek abortion care. In addition to creating a nation-leading $35 million fund to support abortion care, Governor Hochul worked with the Legislature to pass six new nation-leading laws to protect and support providers and patients.     
  
Governor Hochul earlier this week announced that the State will stockpile the abortion medication Misoprostol as part of ongoing efforts to protect access to abortion. At the Governor's direction, the New York State Department of Health will immediately begin purchasing Misoprostol in order to stockpile 150,000 doses, a five-year supply, in order to meet anticipated needs. Governor Hochul also announced that if the abortion medication Mifepristone is taken off the market, the State will commit up to an additional $20 million to providers to support access to other methods of care.    
   
To further safeguard access to abortion medication, Governor Hochul is also working with the Legislature on new legislation to require private insurers to cover Misoprostol when it's prescribed off-label for abortion and to ensure that no provider is charged increased medical malpractice coverage rates or loses coverage due to prescribing Misoprostol off-label.   
    
In addition to stockpiling abortion medication, Governor Hochul has also proposed several actions to protect access to abortion care and support abortion providers as part of her proposed FY 2024 Executive Budget, including expanding abortion access on SUNY and CUNY campuses. 
  

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