Impending abortion decision weighs on politicians, health care officials- POLITICO

Linda Rider

Good morning and welcome to Monday’s New York Health Care newsletter, where we keep you posted on what’s coming up this week in health care news, and offer a look back at the important news from last week.

New York politicians are preparing for the arrival of pregnant people coming here to seek abortions if and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Executives at NYC Health + Hospitals — the city’s public hospital system and largest abortion provider — said it anticipates scaling up services once abortion becomes illegal in states across the country.

What New Yorkers won’t be seeing this year is a state-level equal rights constitutional amendment. State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, told POLITICO that the constitutional amendment was “dead for now” and unlikely to see any action until next year. The issue has stalled in Albany for years amid debate over the proposal’s scope and concerns of its effect on religious freedoms.

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SESSION ENDS — With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to soon issue a ruling that could strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Albany lawmakers spent the final days of the 2022 legislative session passing a series of bills to shore up protections for abortion providers and patients who travel to New York for the procedure, POLITICO’s Shannon Young reports.

The Assembly approved legislation late Thursday that would prohibit disciplinary measures against health practitioners for providing legal reproductive health services to patients who reside in states where abortion is illegal, S9079/A9687; and bar medical malpractice insurance companies from taking any adverse action against a reproductive health care provider who performs legal reproductive health care, A9718/S9080.

They were the only two that had yet to clear the Assembly out of a six-bill abortion-related package that passed the Senate earlier in the week.

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor of those bills, said they will ensure “the women and men who continue to provide reproductive healthcare, can do so without fear of persecution or prosecution.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced late Thursday that she looks “forward to signing these bills into law.” “The Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade this month — but New York will be ready,” she said.

But the governor’s statement was silent on another abortion-related measure that failed to move in the final hours of the 2022 session: a state-level equal rights constitutional amendment. Hochul and other Democrats had called for amending the state constitutional to protect abortion rights after POLITICO first reported on a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that could soon strike down Roe. 

State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, told POLITICO Thursday that the constitutional amendment was “dead for now” and unlikely to see any action until next year. The issue has stalled in Albany for years amid debate over the proposal’s scope and concerns of its effect on religious freedoms.

The New York Civil Liberties Union, National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, which have all endorsed Krueger’s “Equality Amendment,” called on the Legislature Friday to return to Albany and take up the amendment during a special session.

IN OTHER NEWS: 

— Hochul touted the Fiscal Year 2023 budget’s inclusion of more than $3 million for Choose Healthy Life to address health inequities and administer preventative wellness programs run by 20 churches during a Friday event in Harlem.

— New York’s adult cigarette smoking rate hit a new low of 12 percent in 2020, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett announced Friday. The rate was even lower among young adults aged 18 to 24 at just 5.5 percent.

— Mayor Eric Adams on Friday encouraged attendees at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition to “light up” and bring ideas to his administration for improving the burgeoning industry in New York City. “We have to make people whole who have gone through some very difficult periods of over policing in the area of cannabis through this entire state,” Adams said, saying he wants to help those individuals with job training and improving their credit reports.

After his brief remarks, Adams toured the exhibition hall at the Javits Center to speak with a few vendors, including a CBD-infused soap brand and food product line. Adams neither sampled the products nor responded to reporter’s questions about his preferred cannabis products. “Any time you have a new industry, you have to really keep the laws in line with the movement of that industry, and I don’t believe we have done that yet,” he told reporters about illegal weed trucks.

WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: This roundup is for you! Send news tips, health tips, ideas, criticisms and corrections to [email protected] and [email protected].

NOW WE KNOW — Plant milk is coming for your children.

TODAY’S TIP — BuzzFeed has tips for alleviating migraines.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Amanda @aeis17 and Shannon @ShannonYoung413 on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out Daniel Han, @danieljhan_.

STUDY THIS — Melatonin poisoning in children is on the rise, according to The Associated Press.

The Tulsa shooting has exposed the anti-doctor sentiment rising in America.

Black women have a lot at stake if abortion is made illegal in many states.

From STAT News: “There are at least two distinct monkeypox outbreaks underway outside Africa — a surprise finding that one official said suggests international spread is wider, and has been occurring for longer than has been previously realized,” according to the CDC.

The New Yorkerpublished a deep dive on how cars kill pedestrians, and how efforts like Vision Zero and speed cameras have made some difference.

Rising debt in older Americans may adversely affect their health.

POLITICO’s Lauren Gardner reports that FDA reviewers have signaled concerns that Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine could be associated with an increased risk of heart inflammation, similar to cases seen after messenger RNA vaccination, according to briefing documents posted Friday ahead of an external advisory panel review of the shot.

The Special Olympicsreversed its Covid-19 vaccine mandate for upcoming competitions in Orlando after Florida threatened event organizers with a $27.5 million fine over the requirement, POLITICO’s Arek Sarkissian reports.

Kathy Gilsinan and Arek examine the growing gap between what people in Florida say about abortion and what they do.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up on the New York Health Care Newsletter.

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