New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants state health insurers to cover “medically necessary” abortions without co-pays or deductibles, the New York Times reports.
“Women deserve to make a fair wage and the same salary as any man, they deserve to work in an office free of sexual harassment, they deserve comprehensive paid family leave and they deserve control over their health and reproductive decisions,” Cuomo said in an announcement last week.
Cuomo also is proposing a state amendment instituting Roe vs. Wade, which allows legalized abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy, into the New York Constitution, Pix11 News reports.
“Our rights are under attack in Washington and as they seek to limit women’s rights, we in New York seek to protect them,” Cuomo said, according to Pix11 News. “As they pull on women’s rights, we’re going to push back on women’s rights.”
“This is still a democracy,” the governor continued. “New Yorkers want to protect a woman’s right to choose.”
While a woman may get to choose for her own body, abortion denies the chance for the men and women yet to be born to choose for themselves.
The announcement comes just after the Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation, and in light of the possibility of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which includes plans that cover abortions.
“We want women to know that even if there are changes in federal law, there aren’t going to be any disruptions to their coverage here in New York,” said Alphonso David, the governor’s counsel, estimating that Cuomo’s plans would affect nearly 4.5 million women.
David also said women could obtain an add-on rider from their insurance company that would provide abortion coverage in the event that faith-based organizations or any other organization against abortion provided health insurance does not cover the procedure, according to the report.
USA Today reports New York operates its own health insurance exchange, though heavily subsidized with federal taxpayer funding, and changes to New York health insurance policies would ensure that “contraceptive drugs and devices are covered by commercial health insurance policies without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles regardless of the future of the Affordable Care Act.”
However, State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long believes the state shouldn’t dictate the coverage provided by various insurance companies. He also mentioned Cuomo’s announcement being related to possible ambitions of seeking the presidency in 2020.