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Hochul signs bill adding women’s health care expert to state panel

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill she says will ensure that public health decisions involving women’s health or facilities specializing in the care of women will be advised by those with appropriate expertise.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Related: What does the Supreme Court’s potential overturn of Roe v. Wade mean for New York?

Governor committed to equitable access to health care for women

The bill names an additional appointed member to the Public Health and Health Planning Council to represent those who provide health services to women. “As the fundamental right to abortion is in jeopardy at the Supreme Court, it is more important than ever before that we take steps here in New York to ensure equitable access to women’s reproductive health,” Governor Hochul said. “We have seen the impact of powerful institutions lacking the expertise and empathy necessary to set policy around women’s health, and it has led to massive health disparities in our public health system along gender and racial lines. This will be an important step forward to improve the health of women in New York, bringing more attention to the difficulties and unique health care issues that women face every day, and by adding someone with experience in this crucial and undervalued field to the Public Health and Health Planning Council, we will bring better health equity to all New Yorkers.”

Related: NY officials, activists react to leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that suggests Roe v. Wade will be overturned

She says many members of the PHHPC are experts in various fields, but none are required to have expertise in women’s health. The bill signing is one of the measures being undertaken by the Governor in the wake of a leaked draft opinion that makes it appear the Supreme Court will overturn its 1973 Roe v Wade decision, upholding a woman’s rights to get abortion. The state budget codified a requirement that all insurance plans cover abortion services and expanded the Family Planning Grant program, which supports community reproductive health providers across the state.