August 17, 2023
Albany, NY

Following Fifth Circuit Decision Attempting to Limit Access to Medication Abortion, Governor Hochul Emphasizes New York Will Be "Safe Harbor" for All Who Seek Abortion Care

Following Fifth Circuit Decision Attempting to Limit Access to Medication Abortion, Governor Hochul Emphasizes New York Will Be "Safe Harbor" for All Who Seek Abortion Care

In June, Governor Hochul Signed Legislation To Shield New York Doctors Who Prescribe Medication Abortion Across State Lines

New York State Department of Health Secured 150,000 Doses Of Medication Abortion To Prepare For Increased Need If Mifepristone Is Banned Nationwide

Governor Established Nation-Leading $35 Million Abortion Provider Support Fund To Protect Abortion Access After Dobbs Decision

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Governor Kathy Hochul today highlighted steps New York is taking to protect access to abortion care, including medication abortion, following a federal court ruling that attempted to curb access to mifepristone. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling preventing doctors from prescribing mifepristone without an in-person visit and prohibiting this medication from being sent to patients through the mail. The ruling does not immediately impact access to mifepristone, but the matter is expected to go before the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming months.

“As we continue to witness anti-choice extremists restrict access to reproductive care like medication abortion in states across the nation, mifepristone remains legal and available here in New York,” Governor Hochul said. “I am committed to ensuring abortion remains safe, accessible, and legal in our state and will always fight for New York to continue to be a safe harbor for those in need of reproductive care.”

In April 2023, Governor Hochul 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 immediately began purchasing misoprostol in order to stockpile 150,000 doses, a five-year supply, 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.

In June 2023, Governor Hochul signed legislation into law to strengthen access to protect patients who require abortion care through telehealth services and the doctors who deliver the care. This legislation expanded New York State law to ensure doctors, medical providers, and facilitators in the state are able to provide telehealth services and medication abortion to patients outside of New York without fear of litigation in states where abortion services are outlawed or restricted.

Governor Hochul also signed legislation in May 2023 to ensure that every student enrolled in a SUNY or CUNY college has access to medication abortion on campus. The law requires that every SUNY and CUNY campus provide access to abortion medication to their student body either by employing or contracting with authorized individuals who may prescribe abortion prescription drugs or by providing students with information and referrals to providers authorized to prescribe abortion medication.

In May 2022, Governor Hochul announced a nation-leading $35 million investment to directly support abortion providers in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Governor Hochul directed the Department of Health to create a $25 million Abortion Provider Support Fund for abortion providers in order to both expand capacity and ensure access for patients seeking abortion care in New York. The Governor also announced $10 million for reproductive health care centers to access security grants through the Division of Criminal Justice Services to help ensure the safety of the providers performing this vital care.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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