FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2019
Noah Gardy, (201) 218-6310, [email protected]
Following Passage of RHA, NIRH Action Fund Calls on Albany to Reaffirm Commitment to Reproductive Freedom by Passing Comprehensive Sex Education & Study on Deceptive Limited Service Pregnancy Centers
Albany, NY – As the fight for reproductive freedom continues to escalate nationwide, the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) Action Fund came to Albany today, calling on the legislature to pass bills to implement comprehensive sexuality education across New York State and to study the effects of deceptive limited service pregnancy centers (LSPCs).
“New York began this year with a clear call for reproductive health care, passing the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) to protect access to abortion in the Empire State. But our work is not done, which is why we’re in Albany today,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund. “Amid a destructive race to the bottom by anti-abortion legislatures across the country – along with threats from a hostile presidential administration and Supreme Court – we need to endow every New Yorker with the ability to access accurate, honest, and timely reproductive health care. That’s the common principle underpinning the comprehensive sex education and LSPC bills.”
The bills NIRH Action Fund is calling for are intended to address two of the most glaring gaps in New York’s reproductive health care system:
Comprehensive Sexual Education: Currently, New York lacks statewide learning standards for comprehensive sexuality education, leaving many students across the state suspectable to biased or misleading information. As a result, New York teens make up more than half of new sexually transmitted infection (STI) cases, and LGBTQ teens are twice as likely as their non-LGBTQ peers to experience intimate partner violence. To address this, NIRH is calling for passing of comprehensive sexuality education that covers lessons on preventing unintended pregnancy and STIs, as well as issues like healthy relationships, body image, and self-esteem. A.651/S.4844 would require the Commissioner of the State Department of Education to establish learning standards for comprehensive sexuality education.
Miller continued: “Whether you’re a teenager in Utica or a pregnant woman in the Bronx, you should enjoy full access to safe and accurate health resources and exert full control over your body and future. We’ve come a long way here in New York and have much to be proud of, but we must continue to fight until everyone is afforded reproductive freedom, and we look forward to accomplishing that with our partners inside and out of government.”
Limited Service Pregnancy Centers Study: LSPCs, also known as so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” (CPCs) are anti-abortion facilities meant to trick or deceive women out of seeking abortion care. Typically located just steps away from real health clinics, these facilities lure women under the false pretense of offering legitimate services only to use a mixture of coercion, delay, deception, and discrimination to deny them access to accurate health information or abortion services. There are around 100 such facilities in New York, compared to 170 legitimate reproductive health care facilities. To understand the full effects of these centers, S.6311 (Hoylman)/A.8212 (Glick) would authorize the commissioner of health to conduct a study and issue a report examining the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant women in New York, and the potential harm caused by LSPCs.
For more than a decade, NIRH has been a leader in the fight to advance reproductive freedom across the country. Recently, they were integral to the successful effort to repeal an outdated criminal abortion ban in Massachusetts, and they led the fight to pass New York’s landmark Reproductive Health Act. Earlier this year, NIRH published a report tracking the passage of more than 100 bills to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice in 27 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.).
The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.
Using a partnership model, NIRH provides state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Each year, NIRH works in at least 20 states and more than a dozen localities; to date, NIRH has partnered with more than 170 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 43 states and 64 localities across the country.