New York is gearing up for abortion tourism as officials and activists prepare to welcome women from out-of-state in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion.
“Abortion rights are enshrined in law in NY — including those coming from out of state,” tweeted Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine Saturday. “There are expanding options for accessing abortion services here, including via medication.”
Levine included information on several services for those seeking abortions from out-of-state, including links to websites of non-profits such as the Brigid Alliance, a referral service that provides lodging, food and financing for abortion seekers from outside New York.
Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, which operates 23 centers throughout the state, said it was increasing the availability of appointments by 20 percent in the wake of the decision on Roe v. Wade on Friday.
“Banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion. We believe all people — no matter where they live — should have the right to control their own bodies, lives, and futures,” Joy Calloway, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, said in a statement. “It is unacceptable that people in some states have been robbed of that right, forced to overcome unjust barriers to access the abortion care they need and deserve.”
Elected officials had been planning for the eventuality that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, and last month announced a host of funding and new measures to welcome out-of-state abortion seekers.
State Attorney General Letitia James promised last month to set aside $50 million to help women seeking abortions. Part of those funds will be used for women arriving in New York from other states where the procedures are illegal. In 2019, 9 percent, or about 7,000, of the abortions performed in New York were from people from out of state, according to James’ office. She said that number could increase exponentially, to 32,000, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Mayor Eric Adams welcomed women seeking abortions to New York City, where the city has budgeted $250,000 a year for abortions since 2019.
“To those seeking abortions around the country: Know that you are welcome here and that we will make every effort to ensure our reproductive services are available and readily accessible to you,” Adams said in a statement. “This city will continue to respect, protect, and fulfill the core tenets of our fundamental rights to bodily autonomy and quality, critical, health care for those seeking access to an abortion.”
On Friday, after the decision was announced, Gov. Kathy Hochul declared the state “a safe harbor” for women seeking abortions. Hochul announced an advertising campaign and new additions to a website that would help women in New York and throughout the country obtain information about abortions.
“This is repulsive at every level,” Hochul said.