In the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked majority decision on Roe v. Wade —one that signals the overturning of the long-upheld decision —New York is preparing for a world without Roe, by taking an even more aggressive stance: taxpayer funded procedures for non-residents.
This includes out-of-staters and illegal migrants.
Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas (D-Queens) and state Senator Cordell Cleare (D-Harlem) are sponsoring the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program aka abortions on demand for any and all interested parties.
“That’s the goal of this bill – to ensure that everyone can get the care that they need no matter their [immigration] status or their socio-economic conditions, insurance status, all that,” González-Rojas told the New York Post. The program would cost taxpayers $50 million dollars.
“The envisioned Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program would cover medical costs and traveling expenses as well as ‘childcare, lodging, lost wages and more’ through nonprofits who would receive public money through the annual budget process, according to the legislative language,” the New York Post reports.
Not surprisingly, conservatives think there are better —and less controversial—ways to spend $50 million dollars.
“We have so many of our own citizens that have critical health care needs that we should be focused on. For instance, we are witnessing an explosion of mental health issues, especially in our young people,” Assemblyman John Salka (R-Cooperstown) says. “It’s outrageous. The taxpayers of the state of New York should not be subsidizing the performing of abortions for out-of-state women.”
But González-Rojas says providing abortions for non-residents —and immigrants— is essential.
“I’ve seen the repercussions of people in the Rio Grande Valley, I’ve been down there, they’ve crossed borders to get care literally … in a Roe world, they still have so many barriers to care that they’d have to seek abortion care elsewhere,” González-Rojas says.
Democrats, including leadership, are lining up behind this bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted his support of the bill, saying Democrats are “pushing to reinforce” enshrined abortion rights in New York.
“In New York, our state has enshrined abortion rights. And we’re pushing to reinforce it with the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Fund in our state put forward by [González-Rojas]. It’d give providers and non-profits funding to increase access to abortion care for all,” Schumer said.
New York Attorney General Latitia James had a similar idea last year, saying she thinks New York should “establish a dedicated fund that would help support and provide financial resources to women across the country so that they could continue to make their own reproductive choices.”
Dems should proceed with caution, however. While polls show New Yorkers are in favor of maintaining the status quo set by Roe, that’s not quite the same thing as being the world’s number one abortion destination —and to proudly declare as much.