Adams further enshrines right to abortion care in NYC

New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor of the City of New York

As the right to access abortion care has been stripped away from over one-third of US women, New York City Mayor, Eric Adams said on Monday that the city is further enshrining its commitment to reproductive rights, releasing the Sexual and Reproductive Bill of Rights.

Adams said this Bill of Rights defines health as inclusive of access to sexual health care, birth control, gender-affirming health care, and abortion services, and will help ensure that all patients in New York City are protected from discrimination and harassment related to their sexual and reproductive health care decisions.

The mayor said the Sexual and Reproductive Bill of Rights will be distributed to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) network of health care providers, advocacy groups, and partner organizations across the city to share with patients.

“Two years ago, the Supreme Court stripped women of the right to control their own bodies, and since then, cities and states across the country have worked tirelessly to completely limit abortion access to Americans,” said Mayor Adams. “As much of the nation continues their attacks on abortion care, we won’t ever allow this right to be stripped away here in New York City.

“We are issuing a Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill of Rights today to do everything in our power to ensure abortion and reproductive health care remain available to residents and visitors alike,” he added. “This is about protecting women’s choices and their freedoms.”

“Abortion care is health care, health care is a human right, and New Yorkers, and all Americans, have a right to exercise their rights by making health care decisions about their own bodies,” said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Abortion remains legal in New York, but we know that protected rights are necessary, but not sufficient, to guarantee access to care. Knowing your rights and exercising these rights is just as important.

“That is why the city is launching the Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill of Rights and bringing additional abortion services online — to provide support that helps people navigate multiple barriers to care,” he added. “Everyone deserves to receive reproductive health care in a safe, high-quality, dignified environment.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to offer safe and legal abortion care,” said Marisa Nádas, MD, MPH, reproductive health clinical lead, NYC Health + Hospitals, and associate medical director, Virtual ExpressCare. “By offering telehealth abortion services and patient navigation support to people seeking abortion care, as well as abortion care at all of our hospital-based clinics, we are overcoming many of the non-medical barriers people face in accessing care. We are committed to striving for reproductive justice for all New Yorkers.”

Adams noted that, in 2022, in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the US Supreme Court overturned the federal right to access safe, legal abortion care nationwide.

Since that decision, the mayor said New York City has introduced a range of services to protect and fulfill the local right to access abortion care.

Since launching the New York City Abortion Access Hub in November 2022, he said more than 3,500 callers and over 790 chatters have been directed to reproductive health services and resources through NYC Health + Hospitals and providers throughout New York City.

The mayor said anyone in need of abortion services or support in accessing care can receive referrals by calling 877-NYC-AHUB (877-692-2482).

For those who might prefer to start the conversation over text, he said there is now a chat feature to connect them to a phone operator.