Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the state is seeking proposals for $10 million available to reproductive health and abortion providers to help improve the security of their facilities and the safety of staff and patients. State Department of Criminal Justice Services published request for proposals, which will allow eligible providers to submit proposals to receive up to $50,000 in funding per facility through the Reproductive Health Centers Assurance Program. The program is one component of Governor Hochul’s comprehensive plan to help ensure safe access to reproductive health and abortion services following the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the precedent and protections set forth in Roe v. Wade.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that reproductive health and abortion services continue to be affordable, accessible and safe not only for New Yorkers, but for every woman who has been denied the right to make their own health care decisions,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration remains laser-focused on keeping these facilities safe, and these grants will help ensure a safe working environment for the dedicated professionals providing this care and those who need it most.”
Through the Reproductive Health Centers Assurance Program, public and not-for-profit providers can apply for this funding to help improve security through improvements to their facilities. Specifically, providers of comprehensive family planning and reproductive health programs and State Public Health Section 28-certified clinics that provide reproductive health services are eligible to apply. Suppliers who have received funding through the state’s protection of communities against hate crimes program can apply for this funding opportunity, but the project must be different from the one previously funded.
New York State Department of Criminal Justice Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, “In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Governor Hochul is leading the way in protecting women’s right to choose and their ability to safely receive reproductive health services. No one should feel unsafe when seeking the care they need or working to get the care they need. This funding will help provide security for these healthcare providers and their patients. I applaud the Governor’s unwavering commitment to ensuring safe access to reproductive health care throughout New York.”
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said“Abortion providers must be able to treat the patients in their care in a safe and secure environment. The threats made against health centers and those seeking reproductive services of any kind are unacceptable and deeply disturbing. I applaud Governor Hochul and the Department of Criminal Justice Services for securing new funding to protect women’s health centers — and the ability to access care — across the country.”
This grant funding can be used to improve the physical security of facilities, such as internal and external reinforcement of facilities, perimeter lighting, fencing and barriers; door locks and access control systems; security cameras; alarm, panic buttons and locking systems; and sound systems, among other measures. Grants can also fund training for employees or members of the organization to use the new security equipment.
Applications are due no later than noon on Thursday, August 18, and DCJS expects to fund up to 200 projects across the country through the program over a two-year period.
The Department of Criminal Justice Services provides critical support for all aspects of the state’s criminal justice system, including but not limited to: training of law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals; oversight of a law enforcement accreditation program; ensuring breathalyzer and speed control equipment used by local law enforcement are working properly; managing criminal justice grant funding; analyzing crime data and statewide programs; providing research support; oversight of county departments of probation and alternatives to incarceration programs; and youth justice policy coordination. Follow DCJS Facebook and Twitter.