Legislation introduced in the state assembly would require health insurance providers to cover abortion procedures wherever maternity care is provided.
A.7573 is sponsored by MP Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, D-East Elmhurst, and co-sponsored by MP Deborah Glick, D-New York City. The accompanying legislation has yet to be presented to the State Senate. The legislation has been submitted to the Assembly’s Insurance Committee.
“People’s ability to control their reproductive lives – including the ability to terminate a pregnancy – is the cornerstone of reproductive health and justice.” Gonzalez-Rojas wrote in his legislative rationale. “Opponents have sought to erode access by excluding reproductive health care from insurance coverage, making access to care prohibitive for too many people. Our state’s history opposes this: New York has a long legacy of requiring reproductive health care coverage in our public and private insurance programs. “
According to a March NBC News article, more than 500 abortion restrictions had been introduced in 44 states through the end of March 2021, up from around 300 at that time in 2019. The information was compiled by Planned Parenthood with data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research organization.
At the same time, the United States Supreme Court ruled to hear Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization during her fall term. The problem is a Mississippi abortion law of 2018 that bans abortions after 15 weeks with limited exceptions. The law was blocked by the 5th US Court of Appeals. Under existing Supreme Court precedent, states cannot prohibit abortions that occur before fetal viability, typically around 22 weeks or later. Mississippi officials are asking the Supreme Court to reconsider the viability standard, arguing that the 15-week rule prevents states from defending maternal health and the life of an unborn child. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization has argued that Supreme Court case law allows each person to decide whether or not to pursue a predictable pregnancy.
“Given state and federal hostility toward abortion, it is particularly critical that New York continues this legacy by enacting legislation that codifies into law the requirement that private insurers cover abortion.” Gonzalez-Rojas wrote. “This will reduce barriers to abortion care in New York City and build on momentum from other states that have already adopted similar requirements. This legislation would codify a requirement that insurance plans cover abortion where they already cover maternity care – this would improve and fill gaps in the current regulatory coverage requirement and create parity between the types of care linked. to pregnancy.