Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul delivers remarks on Planned Parenthood Day of Action

Governor Kathy Hochul spoke today at Planned Parenthood Action Day.

VIDEO of the event is available here on YouTube and here in TV quality (h.264, mp4).

AUDIO of the event can be found here.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor’s Flickr page.

An express transcript of the governor’s remarks is available below:

Good morning fellow fighters. Are we ready to take up this nationwide struggle again? Yes we are. Yes we are. And our belief that there are rights so sacrosanct that they cannot be challenged, and it starts right here in a place like New York. Let me thank Georgana for her leadership of this organization, to whom I have spoken throughout my adult life, from my time in local government to county government to Congress, Lieutenant Governor and now as Governor. you have always been there I congratulate you all. A round of applause, the warriors, the fighting men and women of Planned Parenthood.

Thank you Georgina Our spokesman, Carl Heastie, is here. It helps to have allies like a spokesperson campaigning for women’s rights across the state. I also thank him for his leadership. Carl Heastie has joined us. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, we have been fighting this battle for a long time, fighting for good. Also on behalf of all of you, I thank her for her leadership. Let’s applaud Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins. My partner, your Lieutenant Governor, Antonio Delgado, has also joined us. Thank him for being on the front lines of these battles.

So this was supposed to be a celebration, should have been, the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Calf. You know what happened? It was a dark, dark day for many of us in June when suddenly what we came here for and have gathered for years, this possibility that someone would touch these rights and dissolve them in our lifetime, actually happened . But here in New York we stood up and fought back. We showed what we’re made of. We’ve shown the rest of the nation how quickly you can react and say, “We will protect the women in our state who continue to deserve these services.” But also the women who come here from other cities and other states, to whom these rights have been revoked. We said, “Come to New York. This is our safe haven.” We stood up. This is where you come if you want to protect your rights.

So we immediately committed money, $35 million, to support all of our vendors. Protect your facilities, expand your facilities, hire more staff to ensure we can keep up with the rush and demand. I don’t know if Michelle Casey joined us today in my home area of ​​western New York. Michelle Casey, there you are. She knows how many women come from places like Ohio and find their way to west New York in search of something they never had to travel more than a few blocks to find. And thank you and Michelle and all the leaders across the state for being there to offer this to them.

We also said yes, we will now ensure that you can have an abortion in upstate New York without having to pay a co-payment. Another explanation of our priorities, that’s the law here in New York State. Laws to protect the rights of our suppliers and also say we cooperate with the legislature. We will not only enshrine these rights in law, but in the New York State Constitution with the ERA, and we will do it again. We won’t finish until we get this across the finish line. We will not stop. We will not stop. That is our commitment to you all.

That was last year. What are we doing this year? Our state has announced that we will protect all personally identifiable information of people who seek an abortion so you will not be intimidated. We will protect this information. We will allow pharmacists in upstate New York to directly prescribe abortion drugs and contraceptives. And in our own colleges, SUNY and CUNY, we will allow students to have a medical abortion at their health center. And something I know is so important to many of our providers that we will increase Medicaid reimbursement for reproductive health services that you have been asking for. We will increase that.

So, I’m telling you, that was my mother’s fight. That was my fight. It was my 34-year-old daughter Katie’s fight, although she had plenty of pictures of her protest at the Capitol, she always wears pink. She writes me pictures. My daughter’s fight. But I would never have dreamed in my life that my eight-month-old granddaughter Sophia would not have the same rights as her great-grandmother, her grandmother, her aunt, her mother. This cannot be sustained in the United States of America. We will continue to fight for our rights so the next generation will know how much we care about their rights, their equality and their reproductive freedom.

Because this is the birthplace of all rights and I know how important it is. The march for rights we should never take for granted continues. How do I know about this? Because I’m the first New York state governor to ever have had a pregnancy, ever raised children, and ever attended all screenings and tests. Knowing more than any governor before me what it’s like to be a woman, I ask myself, “Does anyone else in Washington have the right to take away from me what I should decide for myself?” So, gear up for battle, my friends. Yes, we are protected here in upstate New York. We will enshrine it in our statutes.

We will make sure our providers have what they need, but let us give hope to our sisters across America that we stand behind them. You come here; We help you. We support you. This is your safe haven. Thank you very much. Let’s continue the fight. Thanks to all.