On Friday, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson jointly announced a budget agreement to allocate $250,000 in city funds to support reproductive health care, which includes abortion procedures.
According to CNN, the funding will be earmarked for the New York Abortion Access Fund, a service that offers financial support to individuals seeking abortions, both within and from outside the New York area.
De Blasio explained his support for the decision, saying, “We understand that there are women who need help and are having trouble getting the help they need. The city had an opportunity to step up.”
Carlina Rivera, a member of the New York City Council, who also co-chairs the Council’s Women’s Caucus in New York, felt New York needed to take action in response to several states, including Alabama and Missouri, taking measures to restrict the legality and access to abortions. Rivera expressed her support for Friday’s city council decision, stating, “We wanted to do more, and by making New York City the first in the nation to directly fund abortion, we are finally putting our money where our mouth is.”
New York has positioned itself to allow women ready access to abortion, even if the Supreme Court ultimately overturns its ruling in Roe v. Wade. In January, the state passed a law to grant women broad abortion rights and to decriminalize medical professionals who perform or assist in performing the procedure.
The New York City Council decision draws a stark contrast to pro-life legislation in other states that extends rights to the unborn at certain stages during pregnancy. For example, under Missouri’s recently adopted “heartbeat bill,” abortion becomes highly restricted after eight weeks and allows the procedure only in cases where the mother’s health may be endangered. Other conservative states have either passed, or are in the process of reviewing, similar bills with tight restrictions on abortion, in some cases after six weeks.
The State of New York currently allows women access to an abortion up to 24 weeks (roughly six months) into pregnancy.