New York may need federal assistance if there is an influx of women seeking abortion services in the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday in an interview.
It's not clear what support New York would seek from the federal government. Such assistance may be constrained by the Hyde amendment, which bars federal money being used to pay for abortions with exceptions made for rape or incest.
"This is an area where the Biden administration can help us financially," Hochul told MSNBC on Thursday. "We would appreciate that support because, you know, this is going to be an enormous cost to us. But we want people to feel this is a safe harbor mean, this is a fundamental right under assault."
Hochul and Democratic elected officials are expected to move in the coming weeks to approve new measures designed to strengthen the state's abortion laws ahead of a pending Supreme Court ruling expected in late June or July that could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. New York already has some of the strongest abortion rights laws on the books.
Those measures are likely to include a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to an abortion in New York's constitution. Hochul also pointed to measures in the budget meant to provide telehealth services as well as have insurance companies cover abortion services.
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The governor, who is running for a full term this year, also predicted the issue will be a galvanizing one for supporters of abortion rights in New York and across the country.
"This is going to energize the base, this is going to shift the dynamic," she said. "Abortion is on the ballot now. This is a seismic shift in people's attitudes and what's at stake on Election Day, as they saw those who did not show up on Election Day in 2016 are those who voted for Donald Trump. These are the consequences."