By John Lavenburg
PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The New York State Catholic Conference called Gov. Kathy Hochul “terribly misguided” in her focus, after the governor signed legislation that makes abortion medication more accessible in New York, including at state universities.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed two bills to expand abortion access in New York on May 2.
One allows pharmacists to dispense contraception over the counter. The other ensures that all public colleges and universities in the SUNY and CUNY systems offer access to medication abortion. There are 64 SUNY institutions, and 25 CUNY campuses, respectively.
“It’s tragic that young women away from home for the first time and facing a crisis pregnancy will be simply handed abortion pills to take care of the ‘problem,’ rather than be given the multi-layered supports they need,” Dennis Poust, NYSCC executive director said in a statement.
“Governor Hochul’s single-minded focus on increasing abortions in the state as though she’s trying to win some sort of ghoulish contest is terribly misguided,” he continued. “New York has many problems that need tackling; access to abortion is not one of them.”
In a statement, Hochul said she was “proud to sign these landmark pieces of legislation.
“As anti-choice extremists and judges continue to roll back abortion rights across the country, we are fighting back here in New York,” Hochul said.
Attorney General Letitia James echoed Hochul’s sentiment, saying in a statement that she too is “proud that in our great state we are working hard every day to protect reproductive freedom.”
The SUNY and CUNY systems combined serve more than 1.5 million students.
The Students for Life organization from SUNY Geneseo did not immediately respond to a Tablet request for comment on the legislation. CUNY does not list any affiliated student pro-life groups.
Each school’s chancellor, meanwhile, celebrated the new legislation.
SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. said in a statement that “our students’ health and wellness is paramount, and Governor Hochul’s approach will build on our commitment to expand reproductive health access and ensure students are aware of available resources for their care.”
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez added in a statement of his own that this legislation ensures students have access to reproductive health care, “which will enable them to prioritize their education and make choices that are consistent with their life goals.”