Governor Kathy Hochul stated on Tuesday, May 10th, that the Empire State will preserve “human rights” by promising to provide $35 million in funding to abortion clinics as a precaution in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court.
Abortion clinics will get a $10 million security subsidy to purchase cameras as well as hire security guards to ensure the safety of patients entering and leaving the clinics. Another $25 million will come from the New York State Department of Health to fund and assist providers in their expansion and improve capacity and access for patients who are seeking abortions. She stated that funds will come from the recently passed state budget, which notably did not cover all of the spending objectives sought after by state legislators.
However, the action generated immediate reservations about executive authority encroachment.
“We’re not backing down and I will not stand idly by when rights for women across the entire nation are destroyed,” Hochul declared during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “There’s a lot of anxiety. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we need to prepare for any scenario,” Hochul added.
Her continued support for increasing abortion access for New Yorkers and women from other states has drawn financial and moral criticism from some advocacy groups.
Hochul also disclosed that “I do support this. I’m working closely with our legislative team to engage with legislators to see what we can do before the end of [the] session.”
One of the measures under discussion would prevent New York law enforcement from working with their counterparts in other states, such as Texas, in cases involving increasingly stringent abortion laws. Another bill would make it mandatory for insurance companies to provide reproductive health care. State legislators are also proposing creating a $50 million abortion fund to help out-of-state women, including illegal immigrants, with medical care, transportation, and other costs related to abortion trips to New York.
The renewed fight for abortion rights follows the leaked publication of a draft Supreme Court judgment that, if published, would overturn Roe v. Wade. The governor said she is already currently evaluating how the state could offset future potential rulings by the right-leaning court. A final decision on whether or not Roe v. Wade is constitutional is due as soon as next month. That might imply that New Yorkers will be voting in the coming years on whether to include gay marriage and other rights based on gender or sexual orientation in the state constitution. The ball may be moving on that endeavor before state legislators depart for the year on June 2nd, with any legislative-approved changes potentially appearing on the ballot as early as November 2023.
Some of the people that oppose this move include New York’s State Catholic Conference executive director Dennis Poust who declared in a statement, “This is a grave misuse of state resources and an insult to millions of pro-life New Yorkers. Inviting women from out of state to come here to abort their unborn children is a breathtaking reminder of how far our culture has fallen.”
At the media briefing, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) stated that lawmakers are likely to move on a package of abortion-related laws later this month.