Michele Sterlace-Accorsi, a spokeswoman for Feminists Choosing Life of New York, said her group was increasing its efforts to push for bills in the state that would require abortion providers to offer patients additional information about their pregnancies or alternatives to ending them, similar to what other states have enacted.
In Michigan, for example, doctors must ask pregnant women whether they were coerced into deciding to have an abortion, and in Ohio, doctors must share a fetal development guide with their patients at least 24 hours before an abortion.
Such bills will most likely be supported by some New York politicians. “A medical environment that advises patients of all of the opportunities that they have, to me, that is very important,” said Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, a Democrat representing the Utica area. “At a time when someone is making a very difficult decision and one that is something that they would reflect on as time goes on in life, it’s important to ensure that all information is provided.”
Though most New York legislators tend to support access to legal abortions, a number of them, including Democrats, voted against the 2019 Reproductive Health Act, which expanded abortion rights in the state. Several New York City Council members, including at least one Democrat, have donated to a crisis pregnancy center in Queens.
“People think that there’s no, like, real need to advance or end stigma here,” said Ms. Estrada, the reproductive rights activist, referring to pockets in the city, like the Bronx, where there is some cultural and religious shame around abortion. “But that’s not true, especially when we’re seeing so many crisis pregnancy centers proliferating.”
Many crisis pregnancy centers are next to abortion clinics because the chances of women confusing one for the other is greater, Ms. Estrada said.