by Kelvey Vander Hart
New York City just became the first American city to directly fund abortions, appropriating $250,000 of their 2020 budget for abortions.
Allocated dollars will be given to the New York Abortion Access Fund. This fund pays clinics for abortions on behalf of women who have insurance or Medicaid coverage that will not pay for abortions. An estimated one-third of the money they pay out is paid on behalf of women who come from out-of-state to get an abortion in New York.
The fund has been paying for abortions since 2001. They paid for nearly 600 women to terminate their pregnancies last year, and they also paid for some transportation costs to make it even easier. It is estimated that the money given by the city will pay for 500 women to end their pregnancies in 2020.
Aziza Ahmed, a law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, responded to this new city spending:
There haven’t been that many city and state public officials to say we should publicly fund abortions. It’s a big statement…This is a culture war to some degree.
While more and more states are passing pro-life laws to protect the unborn, abortion advocates are overjoyed at this allocation of funds. It is expected that this money will fund abortions for many women coming from highly pro-life states.
New York State Right to Life (NYSRTL) voiced their opposition to this 2020 allocation:
[New York State] taxpayers sadly already pay for abortions through the Medicaid program (something NYSRTL has long sought to change), and indirectly through health insurance premiums (because of governor fiat). Now the abortion capital of the world [New York City] may actually use city taxpayer monies for an enticement fund to come terminate your children. NYC citizens call your City Councilmembers to stop this.
New York City has already been giving money to Planned Parenthood, and the city’s public hospital system also offers abortions. However, this budget allocation marks the first time public dollars will be given directly in order to pay for a woman to end her pregnancy, as the New York Abortion Access Fund does not provide funding for any other services.