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NIRH White Paper – “When Self-Abortion is a Crime: Laws that Put Women at Risk”

The legal status of abortion has changed throughout American history – from legal to illegal and back to legal again. However, women seeking to end an unintended pregnancy have always done so, whether it is legal or not. Our white paper, “When Self-Abortion is a Crime: Laws that Put Women at Risk,” documents this history in New York and assess whether there is any justification for the state’s criminal abortion ban. The paper also analyzes the ban’s real impact on women’s health and lives.

New York is one of the handful of states that criminalizes a women’s decision to induce her own […]

Achieving Regulations to Secure Insurance Coverage for Abortion and Contraception in New York State

In 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his agencies issued four different regulations that affirm access to insurance coverage for abortion and contraception in New York State, protect access to insurance coverage for all New Yorkers if the federal government repeals or restricts the ACA, and improve conditions for women who are incarcerated. The abortion and contraception regulations are wide-ranging and, when implemented, will ensure that women have full access to those services in the state without having to pay coinsurance or copayments or meet a deductible. Under these regulations, doctors in New York can instruct pharmacists to dispense 12 months of birth control at once, […]

Passing a Resolution to Support Reproductive Health Services for All Immigrants in Seattle, WA

In June 2017, the Seattle City Council and Mayor built on their 2014 resolution that called for federal lawmakers to repeal all bans on public insurance coverage of abortion, by passing a proclamation in support of policies that support insurance coverage of abortion and funding for reproductive health services for all immigrants. This effort was led by Surge Reproductive Justice and Legal Voice, who also advocated for the 2014 City Council resolution that called for the repeal of federal bans on abortion coverage.

Read the proclamation here.
Look at pictures of the City Council vote here.
To learn more about Seattle […]

Improving Sexual Health Education in New York City

In New York City, NIRH chairs the Sexuality Education Alliance of New York City (SEANYC), a long-standing coalition of parents, students, educators, direct service providers, and advocacy organizations, all fighting for comprehensive, K-12 sexuality education that meets the National Sexuality Education Standards for all NYC youth.

Since 2011, New York City Department of Education (DOE) has required students to receive sexuality education as part of their mandatory single semesters of health education in both middle and high school, but reports from students, educators, and DOE itself show that even this minimal requirement is not being effectively implemented.

In February 2016, NIRH and […]

Passing a Resolution to Support Insurance Coverage for Abortion in Multnomah County, OR

On April 20, 2017, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a proclamation in support of policies that support insurance coverage and funding for all reproductive health care services for women, including abortion. This vote followed a hearing by the Board of Commissioners on March 29, 2016, that examined the landscape of reproductive health care access in the county. The National Institute and All* Above All partnered with the Asian Pacific American Network of  Oregon (APANO), the Momentum Alliance, the Western States Center, and the We are BRAVE Coalition to introduce and win passage of this proclamation.

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Advancing Contraceptive Coverage in Massachusetts

Since the 1990s, many states have required insurers to provide “contraceptive equity,” meaning that insurance plans that cover prescription drugs must also cover contraception. However, insurance companies often limited the types of contraception that were covered or charged high copays for some or all forms. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addressed some of these barriers by requiring coverage for all FDA-approved forms of female contraception with no copay. Many advocates and legislators worked to enshrine this requirement in their state law and to broaden the coverage guarantee even further, such as by including over-the-counter and/or male forms of contraception. In […]

Passing a Resolution to Support the EACH Woman Act in Los Angeles, CA

On September 30, Councilwoman Nury Martinez led the Los Angeles City Council in a unanimous vote to call for passage of the EACH Woman Act and a repeal on bans on insurance coverage of abortion. Supported by the Los Angeles Coalition for Reproductive Justice, this resolution, passed on the actual 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, became the 11th to call for such action. The press conference that followed featured testimony in both English and Spanish on the importance of ensuring that all people are able to access comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter where their insurance comes from.

Read […]

Passing a Resolution to Support the EACH Woman Act in Philadelphia, PA

On September 29, 2016, the Philadelphia City Council, led by Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Councilwoman Helen Gym, unanimously passed a resolution calling for passage of the EACH Woman Act and for an end to state and federal bans on insurance coverage of abortion. In taking this action, the City Council joined its Board of Health, who passed a similar resolution in February 2013. The City Council featured moving testimony from advocates on the importance of passing this resolution.

Read the resolution here.
Read coverage at Rewire.
Read the press statement from Women’s Law Project here.
Read the Storify of live-tweeting […]

Passing a Resolution to Support the End of the Hyde Amendment in Boston, MA

On September 28, the Boston City Council, led by Councilmember Ayanna Pressley, unanimously passed a resolution honoring the United for Abortion Coverage Week of Action and calling an end to 40 years of the Hyde Amendment. The National Institute and All* Above All partnered with a coalition of organizations in Boston included Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the ACLU of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, and the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion (EMA) Fund, an abortion fund that had previously led work to pass a resolution in nearby Cambridge, to support the Boston City Council in this work.  Councilor Pressley spoke about the […]

Passing a Resolution to Support the End to the Hyde Amendment in Ithaca, NY

On September 7, 2016, the Ithaca Common Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution condemning the Hyde Amendment and calling upon the US Congress and President Obama to support and reinstate insurance coverage for abortion services. The National Institute and All* Above All worked closely with Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes to support the lead sponsor of the resolution, Alderperson Cynthia Brock, and the other Alders on the Common Council to introduce and win passage of the resolution. Mayor Svante Merrick further expressed his support by releasing a Mayoral Proclamation calling for the passage of the EACH Woman […]