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Planned Parenthood Clinic Receives $94,000 to Expand Services | News, Sports, Jobs

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

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

This fund was created by Hochul on May 10, following a leaked U.S. Supreme Court ruling showing the court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, who 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 the capacity of New York abortion providers in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of out-of-state patients from states where access to abortions has been restricted or prohibited.

“We are at the very beginning of what we believe will be a major influx of people seeking 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’s Abortion Provider Support Fund will go to 63 sites across the state. One of them is Planned Parenthood of North Country New York, which receives $658,230. Each of the seven clinics in this regional branch, which has health centers in Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, receives $94,033, according to Hochul’s executive office.

“We are thrilled to partner with (Hochul) as she continues to build on key New York national protections for abortion patients and providers to protect access to abortion,” reads a press release from the PPNCNY.

According to the PPNCNY, the money will be used to “Respond to emerging and unexpected needs to ensure patients have continued access to abortion care in New York State, come what may.”

The $10 million disbursed in this first round of funding goes to organizations funded through the state’s comprehensive family planning program. According to the state, CFPP organizations focus on reproductive health services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured communities. This includes birth control, counselling, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, screening for breast and cervical cancer, preventing unwanted pregnancies, and providing medical or surgical abortions.

Applications for the second round of funding open next week and will total $15 million to be awarded to a wider range of programs, including independent clinics, according to Hochul’s office.

The constitutional amendment process begins

Earlier this month, the State Assembly and Senate began a process to secure the right to abortion in the New York State Constitution. The resolution to this effect was adopted 98-43 in the Assembly and 49-14 in the Senate. Before it becomes part of the Constitution, it is expected to pass through both houses a second time in a new legislative session within the next two years. Then it would have to be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide election.

New York already has state laws codifying abortion rights — some of the strictest in the United States — but including it in the Constitution would make the rights harder to reverse in the future.

This amendment would change 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 ethnic origin, national origin, age, disability and sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression – and relevant to abortion, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive health care and self-reliance.

Last month, Hochul also signed a six-bill abortion bill package that was passed by the legislature. These bills include establishing a cause of action for unlawful interference with protected rights; inclusion of abortion providers and patients in the address privacy program; prohibiting misconduct charges against health care professionals for providing reproductive services to patients who reside in states where such services are illegal; and prohibiting medical malpractice insurance companies from taking adverse action against an abortion provider who provides legal care.

Hochul also made $10 million available to reproductive health centers to access safety grants through the state Criminal Justice Services Division for Provider Safety.

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