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I remember walking through a park in Brooklyn when the overturning of Roe v. Wade was first announced. I held weeping young women in my arms who were so distraught, knowing that we lost a fundamental right that our grandmothers had fought for, that our mothers had fought for, and that we assumed would always be there for us and our children. 

The nation’s highest court chose to send us back decades, and in turn, endangered the lives of millions of Americans. But in New York, we refused to go backwards. 

When the Dobbs decision first leaked in May, I challenged my team to stand up and fight back right away.

What immediate actions could New York take to fight back against this decision?  

I pushed my team to be bold and to think big — and we did.  

We allocated $35 million to abortion providers.  

We mandated that insurance companies doing business in New York cover abortion.  

We passed six new laws protecting both abortion providers and patients.   

We did it all before the Dobbs decision officially came down. And we didn’t stop there.  

When the Supreme Court ruling came down, we knew women across the country would be looking to us. We knew that they would come to New York in search of a safe harbor to protect their rights.   

In our budget, we passed a comprehensive reproductive health package to protect the data and information of anyone seeking an abortion here in New York, to increase access to birth control, to require that every SUNY and CUNY campus provide access to medication abortion, and to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for reproductive health services, supporting providers like Planned Parenthood centers across the state.  

Just this week, I was proud to sign a new Shield Law to expand protections for New York providers who prescribe and send abortion pills to patients in states where abortion has been outlawed.  

The day Roe was overturned I said: New York is going to be here for women in these other states. 

The Statue of Liberty that stands tall in our harbor means something. It means we have a special responsibility to stand up for freedom and for fundamental human rights. Not just here, but across the nation.    

We will continue to stand up for women who are being oppressed. For women whose rights are being trampled. For women whose lives are being put in danger.  

As New Yorkers, that’s who we are — and that’s a fight from which we will never back down.  

Ever Upward,  

Gov. Kathy Hochul
Executive Chamber of Gov. Kathy Hochul
New York State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224, United States