Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a legislation package on Tuesday that will require public universities provide abortion pills on campus, according to her press release.
The new law requires City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) campuses employ or contract individuals authorized to prescribe abortion pills, or inform students of and refer them to providers, the press release reads. It ensures college students are able to access medical abortion “where they live, work, and spend their free time” and intends to “reduce the load on external clinics throughout New York.” (RELATED: Abortion Is Infiltrating College Campuses — With The Help Of Democratic Lawmakers)
“As anti-choice extremists and judges continue to roll back abortion rights across the country, we are fighting back here in New York,” Hochul said in the press release. “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.”
The bills, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Cordell Cleare and Democratic Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, target college-aged students because they are “the age group most likely to seek abortion care,” the press release reads. It asserts abortion pills are “highly safe and effective and have been an important component of abortion care for decades.”
“The Pro-Life Generation is labeled by Governor Hochul as ‘anti-choice extremists’ for opposing the deadly distribution of Chemical Abortion Pills that subject women to injury, infertility, death, and abuse,” Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life Action president, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If the Governor and female members of New York’s legislature truly cared about women’s health, and the status of our environment that is negatively impacted by Chemical Abortion Pills and chemically-tainted blood, tissue, and fetal remains being flushed into the water, they would not support the drugs getting into the hands of vulnerable young women studying at college.”
It’s official: The New York Governor Just Signed a Law Allowing Every New York State & City University to Distribute Chemical Abortion Pills…https://t.co/eYP8dALDOD
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) May 2, 2023
“I sponsored the bill in 2019 when I realized that college age students had limited access to medication abortion since it was difficult to get access to care in many parts of our state,” Epstein told the DCNF. “18-24 year old is the largest age group who have medication abortion and without access they would be limited in their reproductive care options.”
John B. King Jr., SUNY chancellor, and Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, CUNY chancellor, praised the legislation in prepared statements, according to the press release. Students and lawmakers rallied in support of the bill in December 2022 near Barnard College — a private college that already pledged it would stock abortion pills on campus by the fall 2023 semester.
“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,” Rodríguez said. “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.”
Hochul also signed legislation that will make hormonal birth control accessible over the counter to expand access to those without a primary care provider, the press release read.
CUNY, Cleare and Hochul did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. SUNY referred the DCNF to the press release.
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