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Planned Parenthood clinic gets $94K to expand services | News, Sports, Jobs

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SARANAC LAKE — The Planned Parenthood clinic in Saranac Lake is getting $94,000 from the state to expand its abortion services in a “post-Roe” America.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that $10 million will be awarded to abortion providers around the state in the first round of funding from the state’s new $25 million Abortion Provider Support Fund.

This fund was established by Hochul on May 10, following the leak of a U.S. Supreme Court decision showing the court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years constitutionally protected the right to access an abortion.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the case came on June 24, and since then, many states have banned or restricted — or are preparing to ban or restrict — abortions.

This fund aims to expand New York’s abortion provider capacity in anticipation of an expected increase in out-of-state patients from states where access to abortions has been restricted or banned.

“We’re at the very beginning of what we believe will be a major influx of people in search of women’s health care,” Hochul said in a statement. “Under my watch, New York will always be a safe harbor for those seeking reproductive health care.”

Money from the state Abortion Provider Support Fund will go to 63 sites around the state. One of those is Planned Parenthood of North Country New York, which is getting $658,230. Each of the seven clinics in this regional branch, which has health centers in Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, is getting $94,033, according to Hochul’s executive office.

“We are thrilled to partner with (Hochul) as she continues to build on New York’s nation-leading protections for abortion patients and providers to safeguard abortion access,” a news release from PPNCNY reads.

According to PPNCNY, the money will be used to “meet emerging and unexpected needs to ensure patients have continued access to abortion care in New York state — no matter what.”

The $10 million disbursed in this first round of funding is going to organizations funded under the state’s Comprehensive Family Planning Program. Organizations in the CFPP focus on reproductive health services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured communities, according to the state. This includes birth control, counseling, testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer screening, preventing unintended pregnancy and providing medical or surgical abortions.

Applications for round two of funding opens next week and will be for $15 million to be awarded to a broader array of programs, including independent clinics, according to Hochul’s office.

Constitutional amendment process begins

Earlier this month, the state Assembly and Senate began a process to guarantee abortion rights in New York’s state Constitution. The resolution to do so passed 98-43 in the Assembly and 49-14 in the Senate. Before it becomes part of the Constitution, it would need to pass through both houses a second time in a new legislative session within the next two years. Then, it would need to be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide election.

New York already has state laws codifying abortion rights — some of the strongest in the U.S. — but including it in the Constitution would make the rights more difficult to reverse in the future.

This amendment would alter the Equal Protection Clause in the state Constitution. The clause currently protects people from discrimination based on race, color, religion or creed.

The amendment would add protections for people based on ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression — and relevant to abortion, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.

Last month, Hochul also signed a six-bill abortion package which was passed by the Legislature. These bills include the establishment of a cause of action for unlawful interference with protected rights; the inclusion of abortion providers and patients in the Address Confidentiality Program; the prohibiting of misconduct charges against healthcare practitioners for providing reproductive services to patients who reside in states where such services are illegal; and the disallowing of medical malpractice insurance companies from taking adverse action against an abortion provider who provides legal care.

Hochul has also made $10 million available for reproductive health centers to access security grants through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services for the safety of providers.



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