May 2, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Expand Access to Reproductive Health Care for New Yorkers

Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Expand Access to Reproductive Health Care for New Yorkers

Legislation (A1060-A/S1043-A) Will Allow Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception Over the Counter

Legislation (A1395-C/S1213-B) Ensures All Public Colleges and Universities in the SUNY and CUNY Systems Offer Access to Medication Abortion

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed key legislation to expand access to reproductive health care across the state and solidify New York's historic standing as the nation's first Safe Harbor State. As outlined in the 2023 State of the State, the Governor signed legislation (A1060-A/S1043-A) to expand access to hormonal contraception by making it available over the counter, particularly assisting marginalized populations who may not have a primary care provider, but do have access to a local pharmacy. The Governor also signed legislation (A1395-C/S1213-B) to ensure that every student enrolled in a SUNY or CUNY college has access to medication abortion on campus.

"As anti-choice extremists and judges continue to roll back abortion rights across the country, we are fighting back here in New York," Governor Hochul said. "I am proud to sign these landmark pieces of legislation that protect and expand access to abortion and reproductive health care. Under my watch, I will continue to ensure that New York remains a safe harbor for those in need of care."

New York Attorney General Letitia James said, "It is your body, and here in New York, it will always be your choice. While extremists across the nation continue their unrelenting assault on our most basic human rights, I am proud that in our great state we are working hard every day to protect reproductive freedom, including expanding access to birth control and ensuring that medication abortion is available to students on every SUNY and CUNY campus. Thank you to Governor Hochul and the State Legislature for their leadership on this critical issue. Together, we will continue to fight to ensure all New Yorkers are able to make their own decisions about their own bodies."

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "New York has never left the protection of reproductive freedom to chance. We have always taken proactive steps to secure the resources and care that millions of people here, and across the country, rely upon. Our work to expand abortion services and over the counter contraception to students at SUNY and CUNY campuses is the latest victory in that fight. These measures in particular will go a long way in ensuring no one has to leave school or disrupt their education due to lack of services. I thank Governor Hochul for helping us keep New York a destination state for our reproductive rights, and pledge the Senate Democrats' ongoing commitment to these efforts."

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "Across the country we've seen anti-choice extremists rolling back women's right to make their own healthcare choices and to access abortion — but we are not allowing that to happen here in New York. These bills will protect women's access contraception and abortion, building on the work we've done since the Reproductive Health Act finally became law in 2019. We will continue to fight for legislation to protect the rights and health of all New Yorkers."

As anti-choice extremists and judges continue to roll back abortion rights across the country, we are fighting back here in New York."

Governor Hochul

In line with the Governor's State of the State, legislation A1060-A/S1043-A authorizes pharmacists to dispense birth control over the counter pursuant to a non-patient specific standing order from a physician or nurse practitioner. This bill — led by State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Amy Paulin — will increase access to this routine medication, particularly in rural parts of the State where a pharmacy may be more accessible than a doctor's office. The bill also includes appropriate safeguards to protect patient health.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "Women in New York State face many obstacles when it comes to accessible birth control. My bill will enable women, some without a health care provider, to safely obtain medications. This legislation will benefit many women with limited income or who live in rural areas, and I thank the Governor for signing it into law."

Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, "By expanding the ability of pharmacists to provide contraceptives, we will put birth control within reach of many who otherwise wouldn't have access. This expanded access gives women more control over their family planning, education, careers and lives. I thank NYS Senator Toby Stavisky for her partnership in the NYS Senate and Governor Hochul for taking this important step to support women and families."

A1395-C/S1213-B 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. College-age individuals are within the age group most likely to seek abortion care. This legislation would ensure that public university students have meaningful access to medication abortion prescription drugs in the places where they live, work, and spend their free time. Medication abortion prescription drugs are highly safe and effective and have been an important component of abortion care for decades. Additionally, removing abortion access barriers on campuses may reduce the load on external clinics throughout New York.

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Expand Reproductive Health Care

State Senator Cordell Cleare said, "I am very proud that this bill is being signed into law today because it underscores the need to always listen to women. Today, we ensure that all students that count on CUNY and SUNY for healthcare will have access to a comprehensive range of women's health and reproductive services, including medication abortion. This law will provide the needed access, equity and support that our students deserve."

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein said, "Conservative extremists are attacking bodily autonomy and civil rights in our country but in New York we're fighting back. Not only are we fighting to guarantee the right to abortion, with this legislation we are strengthening the ability to exercise that right by removing barriers for a population that has limited time, resources, and transportation options. Importantly, the college age population are more likely to seek abortion care but have less resources to access it. We can change that. This legislation will ensure that the institutions where students live, work and spend their free time are making these services accessible. I want to thank leadership in the legislature, the advocates we worked with, and the Governor for working together to get this done for New Yorkers."

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "At a time when reproductive rights are under attack across our country, SUNY is proud to stand with Governor Hochul on behalf of our students' well-being. Our students' health and wellness is paramount, and Governor Hochul's approach will build on our commitment to expand reproductive health access and ensure students are aware of available resources for their care."

CUNY Chancellor Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "As our nation continues to grapple with a changed landscape in which reproductive rights are being stripped away, we recognize that it is members of underserved groups who are the most adversely impacted. This legislation protects CUNY students by ensuring that they have access to reproductive health care, which will enable them to prioritize their education and make choices that are consistent with their life goals. We thank Governor Hochul for her leadership and commitment to preserve and increase access to abortion care for students and all New Yorkers."

Governor Hochul recently announced the release of over $1.68 million in grants through New York State's Securing Reproductive Health Centers Program, which helps ensure safe access to reproductive health and abortion services statewide. That funding was part of a 2022 commitment of $35 million in statewide funding to providers in order to strengthen New York's reproductive health care system following the Dobbs decision.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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