Assembly Passes Legislation to Ensure SUNY and CUNY Students Have Access to Medication Abortion

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein today announced that the Assembly has passed legislation to ensure access to medication abortion to students attending public colleges and universities in New York State (A.1395-B, Epstein).

“While the Supreme Court and states across the country roll back women’s access to abortion and reproductive health care, here in New York we will not,” Speaker Heastie said. “This bill will ensure that our public university and college students have access to care that will allow them to continue their education.” 

“Conservative extremists are attacking bodily autonomy and civil rights in our country by systematically undoing the abortion care Americans have traditionally had access to. The latest decision from a Texas judge flies in the face of decades of extensive evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of mifepristone, which has been safely used for decades to terminate pregnancies. In New York we’re fighting back to guarantee not only the right to abortion but access to it for a population that has limited time, resources and transportation options. Importantly, the college age population are more likely to seek abortion care but have less resources to access it. We can change that. This legislation will ensure that the institutions where students live, work and spend their free time are making these services accessible. I want to thank Speaker Heastie and the advocates we worked with to bring this bill to the floor today,” said Assemblymember Epstein.

This legislation would ensure that all students enrolled in the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) have access to medication abortion on campus by requiring every campus to either employ or contract with authorized prescribers or provide students with information and referrals to local authorized prescribers. Medication abortion provides a safe, noninvasive, effective way to end pregnancy with a less than 1 percent rate of complication and near 100 percent rate of effectiveness.