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Mayor Adams, NYC health leaders commemorate 2 years since Roe v. Wade overturn, bolster reproductive access

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams, along with key city health officials, marked the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, ending nearly 50 years of federally protected abortion rights.

In response, the Adams administration has significantly expanded access to reproductive health care across the city.

“Today marks two years since the Supreme Court threw out decades of precedent, overruled the majority of Americans, and imperiled the health of women everywhere,” said Mayor Adams. “While our entire city was devastated by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we were not deterred. Our administration signed six bills into law to protect reproductive rights in our city — providing free abortion medication at our local sexual health clinics, establishing telehealth abortion services to connect people with reproductive care, and more. Access to safe, legal abortion care is the cornerstone of public health and will always be available in New York City for anyone who needs it.”

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom emphasized New York City’s commitment to reproductive rights: “Two years ago today, the Supreme Court made the devastating decision to roll back reproductive rights and endanger the health of women across America. Despite this ruling, New York City remained committed to making sure that everyone who needs reproductive care can receive it, and that is exactly what we have done.”

DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan highlighted the city’s proactive measures: “In New York City, we know that abortion care is health care, and health care is a human right. We will continue to uphold our responsibility as a city to be a safe haven for reproductive rights and as a public health authority to deliver policies and programs that protect privacy and safety, ensure quality of care, and increase access to health care and social supports.”

NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD, added: “NYC Health + Hospitals supports the rights of all patients to make informed decisions about their health and health care, including their right to make decisions about their reproductive health. Abortion is medical care, and we are proud to offer our patients abortion counseling and care whenever they need it.”

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, New York City introduced a range of services to safeguard local access to abortion care. The New York City Abortion Access Hub, launched in November 2022, has connected thousands of callers to reproductive health services and resources. Additionally, the city has supported unfettered access to mifepristone, a key medication for abortions. Mayor Adams signed legislation in August 2022 enabling no-cost medication abortion at DOHMH sexual health clinics.

NYC Health + Hospitals has made significant strides, offering a full spectrum of medication and procedural abortion services at their 11 hospitals. In October 2023, they launched telehealth abortion access through Virtual ExpressCare, becoming the first public health system in the nation to do so.

This service has already provided nearly 2,000 virtual visits, mailed over 550 abortion kits, and referred over 750 patients for in-person care. Patients can access telehealth abortion care online or by calling (718) 360-8981.

Furthermore, in January 2024, Mayor Adams introduced “Women Forward NYC: An Action Plan for Gender Equity,” a $43 million investment to make New York City a national leader in gender equity. This initiative addresses gender disparities by connecting women to higher-paying jobs, dismantling barriers to health care, reducing gender-based violence, and providing holistic housing services.

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