Fighting for Comprehensive Sexuality Education for All Students
As the United States’ largest school system, New York City public schools reach more than one million students. Current state law requires that students receive one semester of health education in both middle school and high school, and New York City requires that each of those semesters include sexuality education. However, even this insufficient mandate is not being uniformly met. The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRHAF) calls upon the NYC Department of Education to mandate system-wide inclusive, age-appropriate, K-12 sexuality education that meets the National Sexuality Education Standards. NIRHAF also serves as the co-chair of the Sexuality Education Alliance of New York City
, a broad coalition that advocates for comprehensive, K-12 sexuality education for all New York City youth.
Protecting Clinic Access
Reproductive health clinics offer a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion, and are often a lifeline for women and all people living in underserved neighborhoods. In 2009, after years of advocacy by NIRHAF and our sister organizations, the New York City Council passed legislation that heightens penalties against those who follow and harass people seeking care at reproductive health clinics. Despite this law, aggressive and disturbing protester activity continues to be an ongoing challenge for many stand-alone clinics in New York City. NIRHAF works closely with advocates, providers, law enforcement, and local government to ensure both clear access to health clinics and the safety of patients, clinic escorts, providers, and staff.
Exposing Fake Clinics
Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), legally known as “pregnancy service centers”, are unlicensed facilities that adopt the guise of a medical facility, offering pregnancy tests and sonograms while lying about the medical realities of abortion and contraception in order to manipulate women into continuing unwanted pregnancies. After NIRHAF published a report on New York CPCs, the New York City Council passed a law in 2011 that requires these centers to maintain confidentiality and to disclose (through signage on premises, disclaimers on print and online ads, and in person and over the phone) that they do not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services. NIRHAF continues to work with the Department of Consumer Affairs, patients, providers, and advocates to ensure that the 2011 law is appropriately enforced and that CPCs in New York City are upfront about the services provided.
Supporting Sexual and Reproductive Justice Across NYC
The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund is a proud member of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Community Engagement Group (CEG), a group of community leaders, activists and nonprofit organizations that work with the support of the NYC Health Department to promote sexual and reproductive justice in New York City.