New York will offer free abortion pills at city health clinics

New York will offer free abortion drugs at four city health clinics, Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced Tuesday as he set out an agenda to address health inequalities for women in the city.

“Health and health care have been focused on men for too long. When men had periods, swabs, and menopause, they would get paid vacation time. And if men could get pregnant, we wouldn’t see Congress trying to pass legislation restricting abortion,” Adams said in a wide-ranging address on women’s health.

“We’ve stood on the sidelines of women’s health for too long, and I’ve personally seen firsthand how the health care system is failing our women,” he added.

Abortion pills will be available starting Wednesday at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Health Clinic in the Bronx, and another three clinics in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens are scheduled to start dispensing the drugs by the end of the year, according to the governor’s office.

The four sites combined could distribute up to 10,000 abortion pills a year, in addition to the pills being dispensed by the city’s hospital system, where the drugs are already available.

The move to offer the pills for free at city-funded clinics aims to help patients bypass insurance and economic hurdles they might encounter at the hospitals.

“No other city in the country or in the world has a public health department that offers medical abortions. We’re first,” Adams said.

The move is part of his “New York City Women’s Health Agenda,” which he announced Tuesday at City Hall along with city health officials.

“It’s long overdue that we break taboos and make New York City a model for the future of women’s health. We’re going to build a city that’s for all women and girls,” Adams said.

The mayor’s sweeping plan includes efforts to make the city and workplaces more “woman-friendly,” from breastfeeding rooms for nursing mothers to paid leave for cancer screenings.

The agenda also aims to address racial disparities in women’s health care, such as the maternal mortality rate among pregnant black women, which is more than nine times that of pregnant white women, the city reports.