Question 1: The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to decide to have an abortion before fetal viability (and later if her life or health is endangered). Do you support this legal precedent and the subsequent decision in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt?
In 1970, New York became one of the first states to legalize abortion. This historic step helped set the stage for Roe v. Wade (1973) and abortion rights nationwide. Today, the need to actively defend a woman’s reproductive rights is no less critical. Well-organized anti-choice forces continue to erode a woman’s constitutional right to choose around the country. All lawmakers must remain vigilant in their support for Roe v. Wade, and the other crucial Supreme Court decisions that protect abortion rights for women including the 2016 Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision, which reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right to access legal abortion and rejected laws intended to shutter abortion clinics with medically unnecessary red tape.
Question 2: Do you oppose abortion bans, including those that ban abortion based on fetal age, ban a particular medical or surgical abortion method, or ban particular reasons for abortion, including sex, race, or fetal health?
A number of states – and even the U.S. House of Representatives – have passed legislation in recent years to ban abortion pre-viability, without even an exception for a woman whose health is endangered during pregnancy. These measures not only undermine the legal standards established in Roe v. Wade, but also endanger women’s health and safety by willfully disregarding the reality that serious health issues can arise at any stage of pregnancy. These abortion bans are a cruel attempt by anti-choice forces to curb access to care for women in the most desperate of circumstances. Abortion bans based on particular reasons like sex, race or fetal health are also red herrings. Sex-selection bans, which have proliferated around the country as of late, are largely based on racist assumptions about Asian immigrant cultures. There is no data that indicates that sex-selective abortion is a problem in New York or nationwide. Attempts to enforce them would perpetuate further discrimination in their communities through stereotyping and racial profiling of Asian women whose motivations for an abortion would be under suspicion. At the most practical level, any such restriction would be neither enforceable nor effective, as already demonstrated internationally, but simply serve to restrict access to medical care.
Question 3: Do you support legislation and policies that decriminalize abortion in New York, guarantee that everyone has a right to safe and legal abortion care and expand access to abortion?
In 2019, the Reproductive Health Act became law in New York State. The RHA removed abortion from the criminal code, leaving the regulation of abortion in the health code with other health care. While it codified the legal standard of Roe, protecting the legal right to abortion in the state, it still codified fetal age based limitations on abortion access. There is continued work to do on ensuring abortion access for all New Yorkers.
Question 5: Do you oppose policies that punish women who induce their own abortions?
Self-managed abortion (sometimes called self-induced or self-abortion) refers to ending a pregnancy on one’s own, outside of a clinical setting and without the involvement of a medical provider. This is often done using the abortion pill and can be safe and effective when taken according to evidence-based recommendations. Women sometimes end their own pregnancies using less safe and effective methods, ranging from herbal remedies to dangerous physical methods. Through heightened rhetoric and legal restrictions on abortion, the federal government and states across the country are making it harder to get an abortion at a medical facility. At the same time, information about and access to medication abortion has become more widely available. Laws that threaten women with jail time for self-administering an abortion do not deter women from ending their pregnancies; they serve only to harm women by deterring them from seeking out accurate information about their options in advance or medical care if they need it afterwards.
Question 7: Do you support policies to ensure the provision of later abortion care at NYC Health + Hospital facilities?
Following the passage of the RHA, city officials must do more to ensure that abortion is available. While H+H facilities provide abortion care early in pregnancy, more must be done to coordinate care later in pregnancy. No one should need to leave the city of New York to access abortion care.
Question 13: Do you oppose policies and legislation that allow individuals to impose their personal views on others, preventing them from accessing reproductive health care via medical providers, medical institutions, or public or private insurance companies?
A patchwork of federal and state laws allows hospitals, pharmacies, and medical providers to refuse to provide abortion and contraception to individuals seeking those services. Similarly, some employers and insurance companies are permitted to deny insurance coverage for these services if they can claim religious or moral objection. The morality of an institution should not supersede the right of an individual to access reproductive health services safely and affordably.
Question 19: Do you support legislation and policies to address maternal mortality rates and the racial disparities in maternal health in New York?
New York’s maternal death rate is 30th in the nation , with stark racial disparities. Black women are nearly four times more likely than white women to die of causes related to pregnancy or childbirth. This is not an issue of money or financial privilege– even black women of higher socio-economic status have a higher maternal mortality rate than white women of that same status; however, poor black women are at an even greater risk. Among the primary factors that contribute to the high rate of maternal death is a poor understanding of the root causes and the most effective interventions. This information gap has prevented public health officials from taking effective measures to prevent maternal death.
 Health of Women and Children: Maternal Mortality in New York in 2018, United Health Foundation, available at https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/health-of-women-and-children/measure/maternal_mortality/state/NY
 Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available at https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pmss.html.
Question 21: Do you oppose legislation that requires minors to obtain parental notice or consent before obtaining an abortion?
This kind of legislation is an attack on the abortion rights of young people whose access is already threatened. In many states, anti-choice legislators have passed laws requiring young women to receive parental consent prior to having an abortion. Studies show that most young women voluntarily notify at least one parent when seeking an abortion. Most parents agree that whether or not their child can come to them, she should have timely access to safe medical care and counseling.