Following the Supreme Court’s ruling last week overturning Roe v. Wade, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined by New York City Council Member Gale Brewer, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Andrea Miller, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood of Greater New York Dr. Anne Davis, and Physicians for Reproductive Health fellows Dr. Bianca Hall and Dr. Stephanie Rand, to announce proposals and ensure people are aware of the resources available to protect women’s access to reproductive care. Senator Gillibrand and the advocates discussed how New Yorkers can support women in states banning reproductive health care and laid out the next legislative steps for reproductive equality.
“More than half of the American population became second-class citizens as a result of this decision, stripped of their constitutional right to privacy and bodily autonomy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Supreme Court turned the clock back nearly 50 years, rescinding for the first time a constitutional right from the American people. This catastrophic decision could leave as many as 36 million people in 26 states without access to comprehensive reproductive health care. The urgency of this moment cannot be understated and I’m urging Congress to take swift action to ensure that women have the freedom to access health care whenever they need it. As we wage this fight, I will remain a resource and stand ready to help connect people to reproductive health resources that are currently available.”
“As more and more people look to New York for care and conservative states become more aggressive with their plans to criminalize abortions, we must do all we can to protect them. That is why at PPGNY we are thankful to Senator Gillibrand for championing efforts that will protect patients traveling throughout the country, protect their information from being shared, and protect access to medication abortion. This package will help keep patients safe from persecution and allow them to secure the care they need.” – Associate CMO Anne Davis, Planned Parenthood Greater New York
“We’re outraged and appalled by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – and all the needless suffering it will cause,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund. “No one is immune from the harmful effect of this loss, which will have a dramatic impact on the health, well-being, and future of individuals, families, and communities everywhere. Every elected official at every level of government in every state and locality across the country has a role to play in pushing back. We must get creative and do everything we can to safeguard our rights and expand access to abortion and other reproductive health services. In New York, that includes passing the Equality Amendment to protect abortion access and prevent discrimination under the New York State constitution and dedicate more resources to make abortion affordable and accessible for all. We refuse to accept these attacks on our dignity and equality — and we will not stand by as our very ability to control our bodies, lives and futures is taken away.”
On the legislative side, Senator Gillibrand will push to pass the Data Protection Act, which would codify and help enforce privacy protections for people, including those using reproductive health apps. The Data Protection Act would work in concert with the My Body, My Data Act, a bill cosponsored by Sen. Gillibrand, which would protect the privacy of personal reproductive or sexual health information by minimizing the collection, retention, use, or disclosure of personal reproductive or sexual health information.
Senator Gillibrand is also pushing for legislation to protect the constitutional right to travel freely across state lines and supports eliminating the filibuster to codify reproductive health care access at the federal level.
Senator Gillibrand and her office remain a resource during this difficult time. During the press conference, Senator Gillibrand offered concrete resources to help New Yorkers receive access to immediate care. These resources include:
Visit the ReproductiveRights.gov website: ReproductiveRights.gov is a website where people can learn about their rights, regardless of their state residency, to access emergency care, health privacy, birth control, and reproductive health services.
Use Planned Parenthood as resource: Planned Parenthood provides information and resources about medication, telehealth, reproductive health care referrals, and help with finding birth control and emergency contraception.
Reconsider using health apps, particularly period-tracking apps: Review the terms and conditions as well as the privacy terms of every app collecting your health data, which may be used against you.
Browse the internet securely: Use private browsers like Tor, or use VPNs, or use the incognito mode on your browser when researching reproductive health care resources.
Senator Gillibrand is reaffirming states like New York need to stand firm as safe havens for reproductive health care. Senator Gillibrand is partnering with state officials like Governor Hochul and has encouraged efforts from the New York State legislature to support out-of-state residents seeking reproductive care, require New York insurers to cover reproductive care, and bar law enforcement agencies from cooperating in out-of-state investigations.