Tish James Announces Attorney General Platform to Protect Reproductive Rights and Healthcare Access

Will aggressively protect right to choice, investigate fake crisis pregnancy clinics, and work with other AGs to fight against attacks on women’s healthcare

NEW YORK -- Candidate for New York Attorney General Tish James today announced her multi-layered platform to fight for women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare in New York State. As Attorney General, Tish James will protect a woman’s right to choose, enforce access to reproductive healthcare including buffer zones around abortion clinics, investigate fake crisis pregnancy clinics, protect women from workplace pregnancy discrimination, protect access to birth control, and work with other Attorneys General to fight against attacks on women’s healthcare. The full platform, “Fighting for Reproductive Healthcare Access and Protecting the Right to Choose” can be found here.

“Access to women’s healthcare is being threatened by our federal government, and fraudulent providers are freely operating putting the health of women at risk,” said Letitia James, Candidate for Attorney General. “I will use every tool at my disposal as Attorney General to protect the right to reproductive healthcare, taking legal actions, launching investigations, and fighting for the right to choose. Reproductive health care is a fundamental right, and as Attorney General, protecting this right will be one of my top priorities.”

With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, access to reproductive healthcare is in greater peril than ever before. Women are at critical risk of losing the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, safe access to health clinics, and access to birth control.

In New York, over 1.2 million women receive publicly-funded contraceptive services and supplies, either through Title X or Medicaid. New York has failed to enshrine the fundamental right to choice into state law, meaning that millions of women and families are at risk of losing core healthcare services, and basic rights and freedoms.

As Public Advocate, Tish James successfully pushed for the expansion of New York State Medicaid coverage for more accurate breast cancer screening technology; convened a roundtable with leaders to combat proposed changes to Title X funding; sponsored legislation supporting the Reproductive Health Act; and was a vocal supporter at every rally and in every fight for a women’s right to reproductive health access.

Highlights from “Fighting for Reproductive Healthcare Access and Protecting the Right to Choose.

As Attorney General, Tish James will:

  • Take legal action against those who interfere with women’s rights to access abortions and medical care. Aggressive and violent incidents more than tripled near abortion clinics between 2016 and 2017. Tish will stand up to anti-abortion protestors by enforcing buffer zones around abortion clinics, and by seeking injunctions against those who violate the law by seeking to interfere with women’s rights to access abortions and medical care. She will go further than other Attorneys General before her and seek a standing State referral to criminally prosecute those offenses.

  • Fight for the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health Act. Tish James will fight for the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which would bring New York State law into alignment with Planned Parenthood v Casey. She will also support all amendments necessary to enshrine protections of Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey into the New York State Constitution.

  • Investigate and bring legal action against pregnancy crisis centers engaged in fraud. Crisis pregnancy centers, also known as fake clinics, are designed to appear as unbiased medical providers that lure in pregnant women with the sole purpose of dissuading them from having an abortion. As Attorney General, Tish James will use the office’s authority to investigate and bring legal action against any fake clinics engaged in fraud.

  • Investigate any reported cases of workplace pregnancy discrimination, and take legal action against repeat violators. Tish James will ensure that employers are held accountable for their actions, and that pregnant women who experience discrimination receive compensation, promotion, or reinstatement to which they are entitled. She will also advocate for laws that explicitly ban discrimination based on reproductive choices and work to defend women from bias of all forms.  

  • Investigate and take legal action against corporations that are seeking to take advantage of the exemption from the ACA birth control mandate for reasons other than a sound religious or moral objection. The Trump Administration is allowing employers to claim a religious or moral exemption from providing birth control to employes. Now that more employers can claim exemptions, many may move to do so in order to save money on their insurance plans, which in turn will have serious ramifications for women’s health and public health at large.

Play a leadership role in the coalition of progressive Attorneys General fighting resisting federal laws and policies that aimed at undermining our rights and values.