**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** JUN 26, 2019
Contact: Julie Kim, email@example.com, 646–306–1253
Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Carlina Rivera and Margaret Chin Introduce Bill Requiring Long Acting Contraception at New York City Health Facilities
CITY HALL — Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Carlina Rivera and Margaret Chin today introduced a bill to require Department of Health and Mental Hygiene-run health clinics to provide long acting reversible contraception (LARCs), alongside the other forms of contraception that are already available, to all patients. LARCs are a form of birth control that provide effective contraception for an extended period, and once inserted by a clinician, work without user action. LARCs can include injections, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal contraceptive implants.
In the midst of attacks on reproductive freedom across the country, guaranteeing access to effective, reliable, and long lasting contraception protects New Yorkers’ ability to make a choice on what is best for their body and health. By making LARCs readily available alongside other birth control methods at health facilities and clinics across the city, this bill prioritizes people’s safety, well-being, and bodily autonomy. This bill does not allow for discrimination of healthcare services based on a person’s ability to pay, as DOHMH clinic policy is to provide services regardless of ability to pay and work with individuals to provide a plan that works with different incomes and insurance coverages.
The legislation builds off of the Council’s Young Women’s Initiative funding for LARCs, which since 2016 has provided over $2.3 million for LARCs at a number of New York City facilities.
The Women’s Caucus is excited to introduce this bill as another step toward ensuring reproductive healthcare is not solely a “woman’s responsibility” but the responsibility of our city to make quality healthcare accessible to all.
“In this year’s budget, the Women’s Caucus fought to ensure that all women could access abortion in New York City. Now with this bill, we are setting our sites on a new goal — reproductive planning equality,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Co-Chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus. “In 2019, every woman in New York — regardless of class or creed — should be able to easily receive an IUD, other form of long acting reversible contraception, or whichever birth control option that works best for them.”
“In order to advance the progress we made to strengthen New York City’s status as a haven for reproductive access and choice, we need to make sure that all New Yorkers have opportunities to make the family-planning decision that’s right for them — regardless of income. I am proud to join Council Member Rivera to introduce legislation to codify our City’s responsibility to fight against the wave of attacks that undermine women’s autonomy over their bodies and right to choose,” said Councilwoman Margaret S. Chin, Co-Chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus.
“Every New Yorker deserves affordable birth control options that fit their individual health care needs and lifestyle, including Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) like IUD and implants. Planned Parenthood of New York City applauds the New York City Council Women’s Caucus for taking an important step toward protecting a patient’s right to choose, and expanding access to effective birth control options that are typically out of reach for many people,” said Laura McQuade, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City, “this measure further cements New York City’s position as a leader in sexual and reproductive health care.”
“We applaud Council Members Rivera and Chin for introducing legislation to expand access to long-acting, highly effective contraception for individuals across the five boroughs,” said Sam Wu, Member of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) New York City’s Leadership Committee. “In order to have full agency over our bodies and lives, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) need access to comprehensive, affordable, patient-centered, culturally and linguistically competent reproductive health care in our communities. It is empowering to see New York City step up to promote access to reproductive health care against the backdrop of a hostile federal government working to erode our fundamental rights and access to basic health care for low income people, immigrants, and people of color. NAPAWF New York City looks forward to continuing to work with the City Council to ensure AAPIs have the power, resources, and respect to make decisions regarding our bodies, families and communities.”
“The City Council, with the leadership of the Women’s Caucus and its chairs, Councilmembers Rivera and Chin, has demonstrated so many of the ways that cities can lead the fight to secure our reproductive freedom. Achieving full contraceptive choice is an important step towards ensuring that all people have the ability to choose if, when, and how to start and grow a family,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) Action Fund. “We at NIRH Action Fund applaud the newest effort to ensure LARC access at DOHMH facilities, which are often important entry points to the medical system. We believe that all people deserve access to the full range of contraceptive options so they can select and use the method that is right for them, discontinue or change their method if they choose, and that all work to increase access to reproductive health care, including contraception, must center patient autonomy and choice. We are proud to have the Council as our partners in this work.”
“Expanding access to affordable and long-acting contraception is a key pillar of women’s health and economic security. This is what reproductive justice means — ensuring access to a full range of healthcare options regardless of income level, race, or zip code,” said Jean Bucaria, Deputy Director of the National Organization for Women — New York City. “We thank Councilmembers Rivera and Chin and the Women’s Caucus for their leadership on improving contraception access for all New York City patients.”