FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT: Isabel Shepard, [email protected]

NIRH Partners and Abortion Advocates Lead Efforts to Safeguard Access to Abortion; Groundswell of Actions Are a Clear Reminder of Widespread Support for Abortion Access

NEW YORK, NY – Abortion advocates, voters, and elected leaders who support reproductive freedom have responded in kind to this summer’s disastrous Dobbs decision, ramping up efforts to safeguard abortion rights and access to reproductive care in line with the overwhelming popularity of people who support abortion access.

Earlier this week, voters in Kansas came out definitively for reproductive freedom in the first post-Roe vote directly on abortion. By rejecting the constitutional amendment that would have eliminated the right to abortion in the state constitution, Kansans stood up for their right to decide what is best for their own bodies, lives, and futures – and affirmed that those who oppose abortion are outnumbered. NIRH applauds this victory and the work of past Kansas partner Trust Women for the critical role they played in shutting down this ballot measure.

“Absent the federal right to an abortion, cities and states are formidable in the fight for access to abortion and reproductive freedom in general. From setting up funding to legislative action and executive orders, abortion advocates in all corners of the country are working with incredible creativity to ensure that people retain their ability to choose and obtain the care they deem best for their health and future,” said Andrea Miller, President of National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund. “I am in constant awe of our partners and allies in our fight everywhere – they are the reason I know we will win in the battle for our bodies and continue this forward momentum until everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, has unhindered reproductive freedom, including access to abortion care in their own community and on their own terms.”

This week’s victory in Kansas is the latest in a wave of abortion access and reproductive freedom measures and actions coming out of cities and states nationwide since the fall of Roe. Advocates have fought relentlessly to enshrine our right to reproductive freedom, ensure access to abortion and reproductive care, and safeguard patients and providers alike from legal action and other consequences of care. Recent highlights include:

● In Massachusetts, longtime NIRH partner Reproductive Equity Now championed the passage of a historic bill enshrining protections for reproductive freedom and gender-affirming care.

● New Jersey passed a budget setting aside $45 million for reproductive health services and state legislators introduced A4350/S2918 to make abortion more affordable and accessible. Both the bill and budget are thanks to the hard work of current NIRH partners Cherry Hill Women’s Health, NCJW Essex County, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund New Jersey, as well as past partner New Jersey Policy Perspectives and Thrive NJ.

● In Georgia, the City of Atlanta passed a resolution for a $300,000 donation to support Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, an organization that provides financial and practical support to people seeking abortion care, including out-of-state travel. Working closely with the coalition Amplify GA, NIRH saw firsthand how the coalition created grassroots support for the effort and built upon NIRH’s long history of working on the local level in Atlanta, utilizing NIRH’s local reproductive freedom index and creating the reproductive justice commission.

● In San Antonio, Texas, the City Council passed a resolution to support abortion access by recommending city money not be spent on prosecuting abortions. This type of resolution was also passed in Atlanta and several other cities, and NIRH is working closely with abortion advocates to understand the strength of this measure in protecting people seeking and receiving abortions.

● In Missouri, the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen passed a bill allocating $3 million in American Rescue Plan funds toward the creation of a Reproductive Equity Fund and COVID-19 relief. The bill marks the culmination of NIRH’s work with former partner Pro-Choice Missouri, who led the effort to secure the funding aimed at mitigating the economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

● In Ohio – where NIRH has worked with advocates on state and local strategies for years – the Cleveland City Council and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb are seeking to cover travel expenses for city residents and employees in need of legal, out-of-state abortion through a $100,000 Reproductive Freedom Fund. And in Columbus, Columbus City Council set aside $500,000 to fund the Ohio Women’s Alliance and Abortion Fund of Ohio and their efforts supporting reproductive healthcare.

● New York passed the equal rights amendment to protect New Yorkers from discrimination based on pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, or in their reproductive health care and autonomy; and New York City launched a public education campaign against and formal review of crisis pregnancy centers, passed a measure requiring NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene facilities to offer medication abortions, and hired the first patient navigator specifically for abortion care at public hospitals.

● In Washington, the Kings County Council passed an emergency ordinance authorizing a $500,000 contract with the Northwest Abortion Access Fund to support people seeking an abortion, including those in states where it’s now illegal.

● The Alexandria City Council in Virginia unanimously passed a resolution calling on the General Assembly of Virginia and the United States Congress to protect the right to abortion.

● Lehigh, Pennsylvania began the process of becoming the first entity to divest from Wells Fargo, which donates to anti-abortion groups.

● In Tennessee, the Memphis City Council passed a resolution urging law enforcement and the county district attorney not to investigate or prosecute doctors who perform abortions.

● In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, voted to allow city lobbyists to pressure Wisconsin legislators to repeal the state’s abortion ban from 1849.

● In Louisiana, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed a resolution to bar city entities from enforcing Louisiana’s abortion trigger laws.

● Governors in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and others, issued executive orders protecting abortion access.

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance equitable access to reproductive health care. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.