Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) has announced a new public awareness campaign called “Know Your Options” that seeks to make New York residents aware of “reproductive health care services” – especially, abortion providers – and also seeks to question the accuracy of information provided by pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.
In a statement announcing the program, Governor Cuomo vows “to fight back” against pro-life messages and initiatives by President Donald Trump and “Washington”:
"While the federal government wages war on women's reproductive rights, New York will fight back to protect women's access to comprehensive, safe and affordable health care. In New York, we refuse to let President Trump and Washington take us backwards and jeopardize the rights of New Yorkers. We are launching this public awareness campaign to combat the insidious spread of misleading, medically inaccurate information about reproductive health and to ensure all New York women know the options they are legally entitled to."
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also expressed support for the campaign, calling for New York to “codify Roe v. Wade” to ensure the right to an abortion:
"Reproductive health care is a right and should be accessible, affordable, and safe for all women. With women's reproductive rights under attack by the Trump administration, in New York we're stepping up to ensure women's health care is protected. With this public awareness campaign, we're increasing awareness of the family care and health services available to women in New York State. At the same time, the Governor and I are continuing to call on the State Senate to stand up for women and codify Roe v. Wade to protect a woman's right to choose."
However, not all New Yorkers approve of the Know Your Options campaign. Rev. Jason McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a pro-life organization in New York, stated:
"I couldn’t believe the irony when I heard that our governor—the very same governor who praises Planned Parenthood, supports late-term abortion, and wants to allow non-physicians to perform abortions—claims that pregnancy centers jeopardize women’s health.
"New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms challenges Gov. Cuomo to back up his supposed concern about providing women with accurate health information by supporting informed consent bills. Informed consent legislation requires abortionists to give women accurate information about the grisly procedures performed in their clinics. Bills A.5374-DiPietro, A.5384-DiPietro, and A.5637-Curran would be a good place to start."
The Know Your Options campaign specifically promotes abortion as an option for New Yorkers. Under the “Think you Might be Pregnant?” section of the “Pregnancy: Know Your Options, Get the Facts” state website, abortion is specifically discussed:
“You can end a pregnancy with a safe and legal abortion in New York. Talk to a quality family planning provider about the best option for you. This can include:
- In-clinic abortions: These are safe, outpatient procedures, meaning that you don’t have to stay overnight, that are performed by a licensed health care provider.
- Medication abortions: If you are less than 10 weeks pregnant, a medication abortion may be an option for you. This means a health care provider gives you medicine at an office visit and then allows you to go home with more medicine to end the pregnancy.
“Insurance, including Medicaid, covers abortion services so that cost is not a barrier. If you don’t have a health care provider, you can talk to a NYS Family Planning Program provider near you.”