Council’s $1 million allocation will fund abortions and practical support for those in need, follows passage of historic laws to expand abortion access and narrow maternal health disparities

City Hall, NY – Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and the Council’s Women’s Caucus announced that the New York City Council is providing $1 million towards expanding access to abortion care in New York City. The allocation is the largest commitment of municipal funds by any city in the United States. The funding will be divided equally between the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), which supports anyone who is unable to fully pay for an abortion and is living in or traveling to New York, and the Brigid Alliance that provides logistical support (travel, lodging, childcare, etc.) for people seeking abortions.

This new funding, $250,000 from the Speaker’s Initiative and $750,000 from a new Abortion Access Fund Initiative, is critically important as states across the country move to ban abortion in the wake of the summer Supreme Court decision. Prior to Roe in 1972, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people traveled to New York State to obtain a legal abortion, with more than half traveling over 500 miles to obtain critical reproductive care. With nine states already fully banning abortion, New York City is anticipating a return to the pre-Roe world where New York is a destination for peopling seeking legal reproductive care. Additionally, even when abortion was legal nationally, the vast majority were obtained by low-income women. This underscores just how important the NYAAF and Brigid Alliance funding is, not just to facilitate travel and cover other expenses, but also to pay for the procedure itself. It is safe to say without this fund, thousands of people will have to endure the trauma of forced pregnancy.

The Council became the first city in the nation to specifically provide funding for abortion in 2019 by funding NYAAF with $250,000. The $1 million allocation by the current women-majority Council, the City’s first-ever, significantly expands this effort. The funding will follow historic bill packages that the City’s legislative body has advanced to expand access to abortion care and address maternal health disparities.

“Access to abortion and reproductive health care is a fundamental human right that must be protected,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Our historic women-majority City Council has already demonstrated national leadership by passing the monumental NYC Abortion Rights Act. With the commitment of $1 million in City Council funding for abortion care, we are sending a clear message across the country that New York City will support anyone who is seeking the reproductive health care they need. This is what women’s leadership looks like, and the Council remains focused on solutions that will strengthen our communities.”

The historic funding and legislative packages demonstrate the type of agenda that is prioritized and advanced by a legislature with women at the helm and in the majority. The Council recently passed a maternal health legislative package that seeks to expand maternal health services and address systemic inequities that affect women and birthing people, particularly those that disproportionately harm Black, Latino and indigenous people. This summer, the Council spearheaded a groundbreaking package of legislation expanding abortion access. Both of those legislative packages are now law.

“I am extremely proud to lead the Women’s Caucus and be a Member of this City Council. Not only did we break down barriers as a history-making majority women Council, but we have also stood firm on our values and continued to embody why representation matters,” said Council Member Amanda Farías, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Our commitment of $1 million towards expanding access to abortion care in New York City is a testament to the kind of leaders we have in this caucus. This is the largest commitment of municipal funds to protect abortion access anywhere in the United States, and I hope that other cities and legislative bodies around the country see this act of service and leadership as an example of what they can do to protect the women and those capable of pregnancy in their municipality.”

“Expanding access to abortion is essential to protecting and prioritizing women’s reproductive health across our city,” said Council Member Farah Louis, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “As Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I applaud Speaker Adams and my colleagues in advancing this budget allocation to ensure that women will receive reproductive services no matter their location, economic status and existing child-care needs. New York City leads the country on protecting safe and reliable access to abortion and reproductive resources, and I look forward to working with our organizations to provide needed services to those from District 45, across Brooklyn and New York City.”

“I am proud to announce the allocation of $1 million to expand abortion access by directly funding abortions and practical support services such as travel, lodging, and childcare. As women’s rights to bodily autonomy are under attack in many parts of the country, we must fight to protect New York City’s legacy as a safe haven for all who seek abortions,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “Following the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, more people than ever are in need of access to safe and legal abortion services, and this increased funding from City Council will ensure that our providers can meet this need. New York Abortion Access Fund and the Brigid Alliance have become literal lifelines in a post-Roe era, and I am honored to join them and the other tireless advocates who have been working double time to ensure everyone has access to whatever reproductive healthcare they choose.” 

“I am so proud to announce that today, we have secured $1 million to support anyone seeking an abortion in New York City. While states across the country are restricting reproductive freedoms, New York City is opening its arms to anyone who needs reproductive care,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “Before Roe, New York state was a destination for people in need of abortions. Thousands of people traveled to our state in search of critical care, and we were ready to help them. This new initiative will ensure our state is ready to help the influx of people, from near and far, who will come to New York City seeking abortions. From the funds to obtain critical reproductive care, to the logistical support needed to make the journey and care possible, New York City is ready to help.”

“Ever since the landmark ruling against Roe v Wade, we’ve seen several states limit abortion access and criminalize anyone that attempts to provide individuals with uteruses access to reproductive healthcare,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “I’m proud to be part of a caucus, a city, and a legislative body that protects a person’s right to reproductive healthcare and that puts forward public policy to adequately provide resources for those seeking care. I’m proud to say that New York City is a leader when it comes to reproductive rights and the funding being allocated today will further enshrine New York City’s commitment to protecting basic human rights.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs was a devastating outcome for women across this country,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “But this Council has taken immediate action to safeguard access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, including the passage last month of a comprehensive reproductive rights legislative package. Now, with this $1 million allocation to local funds, New York City will continue to be a safe haven for abortion access – for all Americans.”

“New York City stands in solidarity with those living in abortion deserts, deprived of access to safe reproductive health services. I commend Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues for demonstrating that commitment by allocating $1 million towards expanding abortion care in NYC,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer. “Generations have fought for autonomy over women’s bodies and the recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade pushes the United States backwards – and could threaten other privacy rights that were Court-established precedent.”

“In New York City, we are unafraid to reaffirm that abortion is healthcare, and that healthcare is a human right,” said Council Member Alexa Avilés. “I am proud to join my colleagues in announcing an allocation of 1 million dollars to support any person who is unable to pay for an abortion. Whether you are from New York City or out of state, our City stands ready to defend your rights.”

“Abortion funds are just one of the many kinds of practical, direct, support we need fully-funded to forward gender equity,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity. “So much of the time folks don’t need an expansive program, they just need a check to do what they know is best for themselves. I’m glad to see our municipal funds used in this way.”

“New York City is known for being a beacon of opportunity and access,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. “The ability to access and receive safe and legal maternal and abortion healthcare should not be a privilege. This allocation of funds towards holistic abortion care is not only a commitment but an opportunity for our peers nationwide to protect this vital access to healthcare.”

“61% of all Americans believe that abortions should be legal, and in New York City, they still are,” said Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez. “This funding is a signal to the rest of the country that our city is, and will remain, a safe haven for all those seeking reproductive care and abortions. While states and cities across the country are limiting care, we are unapologetically committing $1M dollars to expand it, with a focus on supporting those that need to travel to our city for this vital health care.”

“This expansion of funding sends a clear message: safe abortion access and reproductive healthcare are available to anyone who seeks them in our City,” said Council Member Kamillah Hanks. “New York City has always been a national leader in the commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose, and this funding only builds on this commitment. I am proud that the first women-majority New York City Council was able to get it done.”

“Universal access to abortion care and health care should be a priority for every city across the country,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “With abortion access and reproductive care threatened by state legislatures nationally, the announcement of today’s funding initiative isn’t just the appropriate response but our moral obligation and responsibility. It will help remove barriers to care, ensuring access to abortions is equitable and available to all. To sit on this Council, the first majority-women governing body in the City’s history, at this moment in time, is humbling. Yet, it’s also a clear reminder that the fight for equity and liberation is far from over. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer.”

“New York City will never turn its back on those who are desperate to receive reproductive healthcare,” said Council Member Rita Joseph. “I am proud to see the Council expand this first-in-the-nation abortion access fund to help even more women in need, and it is my hope that this pilot will encourage other cities to set aside local and state funding to bring relief to women across the nation.”

“At a time when reproductive rights across the nation are under attack, the first women-majority New York City Council continues to respond, and promises that reproductive health care will be available to anyone in need of these services,” said Council Member Linda Lee. “This funding that will be divided between the New York Abortion Access Fund and the Brigid Alliance will help provide a safe haven for individuals seeking reproductive services, and allow them to have control over the critical decisions that directly impact their health and well-being. It brings me immense pride to be a part of this historic City Council. I thank Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues in the Women’s Caucus for their leadership and advocacy as we continue to protect bodily autonomy in this city.”

“The City Council Women’s Caucus and Speaker Adams are taking the initiative to protect women who need vital reproductive health care in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “The City of New York is once again the leader in prioritizing women’s lives by providing the necessary funding for access to these services and providing critical care for women across the United States.”

“Make no mistake that abortion is healthcare, and any New Yorker who seeks an abortion after consulting with their healthcare provider should have no obstacles in safely and affordably obtaining one,” said Council Member Mercedes Narcisse. “I applaud Speaker Adams and our Women’s Caucus for providing $1 million towards expanding access to abortion care in our city. Access to safe and affordable abortions saves lives, and I am proud that today our body has taken a big step in providing that.”

“New York City has been a leader on reproductive rights, and this time is no different,” said Council Member Pierina Sanchez. “Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, low-income pregnant people were losing their lives as they opted for unsafe alternatives. As states across our nation deny safe access to abortions, New York City is showing once more that we remain committed to the safety and wellbeing of women and birthing persons people. This $1 million expansion towards abortion care will secure access for vulnerable, low income citizens. I am proud to be part of this majority women body and its unwavering commitment to addressing the systemic inequities affecting women and birthing people in this country.”

“With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the autonomy of our bodies and our access to a safe and legal abortion is in danger across this country,”said Council Member Lynn Schulman, Chair of the Committee on Health. “The $1 million expansion of the abortion fund is essential for women in New York and those who come here from other states to remain in charge of our bodies. I want to thank Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and the Women’s Caucus for their unwavering support of reproductive justice for all women and pregnant people.”

“This historic investment in expanding abortion care is critical to ensuring that there is no instance where a woman or birthing person does not have proper access to necessary resources and services in our city,” said Council Member Althea Stevens. “Abortion care is health care, and any woman or birthing person seeking abortions deserves the right to be able to make their choice safely and in a healthy manner.”

“When the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the constitutional rights of women across this country and overturned Roe v. Wade, I vowed to work with my colleagues to make New York City a leader in preserving a woman’s right to choose,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “Today, we are announcing a $1 million commitment to make good on that promise and give women the autonomy over their own bodies, not just here in New York City but across the nation. I want to thank my colleagues in the City Council and the Women’s Caucus for making New York City a leader in the fight to preserve the right to a safe and legal abortion.”

“We are experiencing the repercussions of a significant shift in women’s health and a woman’s right to choose,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “It’s devastating to see the countless lives impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision, especially our most vulnerable populations. As we expand access to abortion care in NYC, we are providing an opportunity for individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. It is an honor to be a part of a council leading with compassion and prioritizing women’s reproductive and health care.”

“In a world where abortion access is becoming increasingly limited, we must fight to make sure that all women have the right to their bodies and their reproductive health,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams. “The expansion of abortion care will ensure that women of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds are able to get the care they need at a time when it matters most. I am proud to be a part of a legislative body that prioritizes a woman’s right to choose.”

“The experience of having an abortion does not start and end with a single visit to a physician. For countless women across the country, women will be traveling over 500 miles to obtain safe, critical reproductive care to New York City. The Council’s allocation of $1 million to abortion funding and wrap-around support is a promise of safety and care for women everywhere,” said Council Member Julie Won. “New York Abortion Access Fund and Brigid Alliance provide absolute necessities for safe abortions like travel, lodging and childcare and I am proud to have advocated as a member of the Budget Negotiation Team in support of this funding.”

“There has never been a more important time for New York to be a leader in strengthening access to abortion. For over twenty years, the New York Abortion Access Fund has supported anyone living in or traveling to New York who needs an abortion and can’t afford it. As abortion funders, we know that the people most impacted by cruel decisions like the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe are people already facing barriers to abortion access,” said the NYAAF Board of Directors. “We believe no one should be denied access to an abortion because of where they live or how much money they make. We applaud the New York City Council’s work to break down barriers to abortion access by allocating $1 million to NYAAF and the Brigid Alliance to fund abortion, and the practical support needed to help people get to their appointments. We look forward to continuing to work with the City Council to strengthen access to abortion in NYC and beyond.”

“With new state-level bans and restrictions, more people than ever before are traveling long distances to reach an abortion provider,” said Odile Schalit, Executive Director of The Brigid Alliance. “Together with our partners, we’re filling critical gaps to make abortion possible for Americans from every state, but we’re stretched thin and face surging demand. We’re calling on elected officials across the country to follow New York City’s lead and help us keep abortion borderless, burden-free, and accessible to all.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade provoked a public health crisis,” said Joy D. Calloway, Interim President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.  “NYAAF, the Brigid Alliance, and abortion access funds serve as lifelines for people who travel to New York because they are unable to access abortion care in their home states. We applaud New York City Council Members Shahana Hanif and Carlina Rivera for securing critical funding to support these organizations. This funding reflects an important step toward ensuring equitable access to abortion for those most harmed by abortion bans – people who struggle to make ends meet, Black, Latinx, Indigenous communities, young people, people with disabilities, and people who live in health care deserts. Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is proud to be part of a powerful ecosystem of health care providers, educators, advocates, and abortion funders working together to ensure access to essential health care. And abortion is health care.”

“The right on paper without access to that right is barely a right at all. It remains clear that all families continue to need access to abortion care, not more economic barriers. We are grateful to Council Members Hanif and Rivera for ensuring that anyone residing in or traveling to NYC will have access to abortion,” said Elizabeth Estrada, NY Field and Advocacy Manager at The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. “The Latina Institute is thrilled to see the New York City Council leading the path to full reproductive justice and self-determination by securing the funding and practical support that people need.”

“We are grateful to City Council Members Hanif and Rivera for their leadership on this critical issue,” said Marta Schaaf, co-chair of BKForge (Brooklyn for Reproductive and Gender Equity). “As grassroots advocates for abortion access, our members understand that lack of funds for abortion services, for travel, and for lodging are key impediments to those needing abortions in New York City.”  

“New York has long been a leader when it comes to helping people get abortion care,” said Morgan Hopkins, Interim Executive Director of Campaigns & Strategies at All* Above All. “In this post-Roe reality, an additional $1 million will help New Yorkers and people traveling to New York get the abortion care they need without facing further financial and logistical barriers. These are the kind of bold moves we need to see from elected officials at every level across the country. Abortion justice can’t wait.”

“We are thrilled that the New York City Council today has taken such critical steps toward protecting and expanding abortion access,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund. “The New York City Council was the first in the nation to recognize the value of municipal funding for abortion access when it first began funding NYAAF in 2019.  Now, with the leadership of Council Members Hanif and Rivera, as well as Speaker Adams, they are once again rising to the challenges we face in the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. This funding shows that New York City recognizes that reproductive rights alone are never enough – people need true and equitable access to abortion care. The initiative’s funds will provide greater access to abortion for New Yorkers and ensure that abortion remains accessible even for those who have lost the right to abortion in their home state.”

“Americans now face a nightmarish patchwork of abortion restrictions state by state. For NCJW, religious freedom means reproductive freedom, and we will fight to restore those freedoms for all Americans,” said Andrea Salwen Kopel, Executive Director, National Council of Jewish Women New York (NCJW-NY). “Until then, New York will continue to lead the response to the current crisis — to welcome and support those from other states in need of abortion care. We hope this unprecedented commitment of city funds to support abortion access will be a model for other cities throughout the country. We are deeply grateful to Council Members Hanif and Rivera for their leadership in this fight.”