As a pro-life, Christian organization, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms promotes public policies that protect human life. For our 2022 Digital Day of Action, our pro-life policy focus involves opposition to a budget bill that would require health insurance policies to cover abortion.
Sadly, the State of New York already requires employers to include abortion in their employee health insurance coverage. That insurance mandate is the subject of ongoing litigation. However, the state’s current insurance mandate is not required by law. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal would change that.
Since taking office as Governor, Gov. Hochul’s abortion rhetoric has been extreme, aggressive, and inflamed. Referring to the pro-life Texas Heartbeat Law passed last year, the Governor has said that years ago, she had no idea that her daughter’s so-called abortion rights would be “threatened by crazy people in places like Texas.” Gov. Hochul has also linked the “right” to abortion to the Statue of Liberty, stating: “in 1886 they erected a beautiful woman in our harbor with her hand held high with [a] torch in it, a beacon of hope for people who are oppressed. We have oppression going on in our own country when people are trying to tell women what to do with their own bodies. It stops here in New York. Let’s take this battle all across the nation…”
Apparently, Gov. Hochul is not satisfied with the Reproductive Health Act, the notorious abortion expansion law that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed in 2019. She wants to go further. The Governor’s budget would require health insurance policies issued in New York to include abortion coverage. Such coverage would not be subject to coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, except in the case of high-deductible plans. While the bill contains an exemption for religious employers, it is woefully inadequate; the exemption would only apply to churches, associations of churches, and religious orders. Furthermore, even if an employer qualified for the exemption, the bill would require insurers to provide an abortion rider to that employer’s employees.
Pro-life New Yorkers must do all that we can to avoid letting the Governor’s budget bill pass in its current form. Please contact your state legislators today and ask them to push for the abortion insurance coverage mandate to be removed from this year’s budget proposal.