At the state level, Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund is focusing on the following legislative priorities.
The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA)
PPNYC firmly believes all New Yorkers deserve access to preventive health care, which includes contraception, and supports methods that ensure every individual’s right to care is guaranteed and made accessible.
The CCCA would expand access to contraception through four key measures. The legislation would guarantee insurance coverage for all federally-approved methods of contraception under the Affordable Care Act, including male contraceptive methods, would provide insurance coverage for over the counter emergency contraception, and would allow for the dispension of 12 months of hormonal birth control at one time. Uninterrupted use is critical to improving contraceptive efficacy and removing persistent healthcare barriers.
Paid Family Leave Insurance
Currently, workers in New York State have no legal right to paid family leave to care for a new or newly adopted child, or a family member with a serious illness. PPNYC supports New York's employee-funded Paid Family Leave Insurance Act, which would allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of benefits to care for a loved one or to bond with a new child, providing partial wage replacement. Without paid family leave or access to quality and affordable child care, workers are routinely forced to take unpaid leave or exit the workforce altogether. Too often, women and low-income workers must face an impossible choice between their family’s well-being and economic security.
Comprehensive Sex Education
Comprehensive sexuality education empowers young people to make the best decisions that are right for their health and wellbeing. Currently, New York State does not require schools to teach comprehensive sexual health education and does not mandate that sex education be medically accurate in the schools where it is provided.
The need for action on sexual health learning in our educational system is urgent. Half of all new STD infections occur among young people and one in three New York City teens report experiencing some form of abuse in their romantic relationships. More young people have access to information through the internet at increasingly earlier ages, exposing them to misinformation and potentially harmful messages around body image, sexuality, and intimate relationships. All New York schools should provide students with skills to build healthy relationships and caring, inclusive communities.
Reproductive Health Care in New York State Prisons
Incarcerated women suffer disproportionately from poor health and lack of access to primary health care, and are at high risk for gender-specific health conditions that could easily be detected and treated while in jail or prison.PPNYC supports measures to increase access to healthcare for all people, including more gynecological and health education services as well as access to feminine hygiene products for incarcerated women. PPNYC also calls for the end of prison practices that puts one's health and safety at risk, including the use of shackling and solitary confinement of pregnant individuals.
HPV Vaccine for Minors
PPNYC supports legislation that would guarantee minors’ right to consent to the HPV vaccine, preserving and clarifying New York confidentiality rights. Minors are already able to consent to treatment and testing for STIs, and should have access to services that can prevent them from ever contracting potentially life-threatening STIs in the first place. While we encourage parents to be involved in their children’s health care decisions, not all minors have healthy, safe family relationships and are sometimes unable or reluctant to involve their parents in their sexual and reproductive health care. Mandating parental consent could deter minors from accessing critical preventive services such as the HPV vaccine.
Funding for Family Planning Providers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). CDC Fact Sheet: Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States. Retrieved at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf
Conklin, Thomas, Lincoln, Thomas, and Wilson, Rachel (2002). A Public Health Model for Correctional Care. Retrieved at http://www.mphaweb.org/documents/PHModelforCorrectionalHealth.pdf