FPA works to ensure that no one is denied access to family planning because they cannot afford it. After much effort, the State Legislature approves legislation that outlines the Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBP) and directs the Department of Health to apply to the federal government for a Medicaid waiver to enact the program. FPBP will extend reproductive health care coverage to individuals who previously do not qualify for Medicaid and who do not have access to other health insurance. Those with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level will now have access to family planning services.
Religiously based healthcare providers increase efforts to deny access to family planning services, including contraception. FPA works with Assemblywoman Deborah Glick to expand the coalition supporting the Women’s Health and Wellness Act, which would require employers to provide insurance coverage for reproductive health care, including contraceptives.
FPA pushes for assurances that teens will still have access to confidential and comprehensive family planning services under Child Health Plus. FPA successfully lobbies for the defeat of anti-choice legislation, including biased counseling and forced delays, restrictions on minors’ access to abortion, and prohibiting Medicaid funding for so-called “partial-birth abortions.” Efforts to impose restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion are defeated in the Assembly by the largest margin to date. In addition, FPA promotes a bill mandating that emergency contraception be available in hospital emergency rooms for rape victims.
FPA again works with the Legislature to restore $1.5 million of family planning funds cut from Governor Pataki’s proposed budget and lobbies for an additional $3 million to support enhanced coverage for family planning services for low-wage working families without health insurance.
FPA’s 23rd Annual Legislative Conference is the first to include a separate youth program geared towards organizing and advocacy for teens.