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The move drew criticism from opponents, including the New York State Catholic Conference, which called it “a grave misuse of state resources and an insult to millions of pro-life New Yorkers.”

The details: Hochul said the $ 35 million will come from the health commissioner’s emergency fund, meaning it won’t have to be realized in the budget that was finalized last month. (The Department of Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the total amount in the commissioner’s emergency fund or how that money has historically been used.)

Of that funding, $ 25 million will be dedicated to expanding abortion provider capacity and access for patients seeking care. It will be doled out through direct grants and expense reimbursements to providers.

Hochul said the money will make New York “the first major state to launch this direct support for abortion providers.”

The remaining $ 10 million in grants will go toward enhancing safety at reproductive health facilities, such as hiring security guards and purchasing and installing security systems.

“No one should feel unsafe accessing health care, abortion care, and no one should feel unsafe providing that health care,” Hochul said. “We have to be proactive, we have to get these security measures in place now.”

What they said: Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor of several abortion-related bills in the legislature, said the $ 35 million is a “tremendous start,” but “probably a down payment on other monies” that will be needed to help people, particularly low- income individuals, who travel to New York for abortions.

Michelle Casey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, noted that her organization is already expanding clinics in Buffalo and Rochester to increase the number of people they can serve. The new funding, she said, will “help make that mission a reality.”

But Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, argued that “inviting women from out of state to come here to abort their unborn children is a breathtaking reminder of how far our culture has fallen.”

“We must ask again, when will New York lawmakers begin to dedicate even a fraction of their rhetoric and policies to supporting women who want and need the resources to keep their babies?” he said in a statement. “The Bishops of New York State urge all Catholic New Yorkers to pray through her intercession for a change of heart for all elected officials, particularly those who profess the Catholic faith, and for a building up of a Culture of Life in our state.”

What’s next: New York should have the $ 35 million in place by the time the Supreme Court releases its final ruling, which is expected to happen in June, Hochul said.

The state will release an expedited application for both grant and reimbursement requests from providers, the governor’s office noted. A request for proposals to allow organizations to apply for security funding is also expected to be issued before the final Supreme Court decision is released.

Additionally, Albany lawmakers are eyeing a series of bills to help shore up abortion rights and access before the 2022 legislative session ends on June 2.

Assemblymember Karines Reyes (D-Bronx), who also joined Hochul for Tuesday’s event, said lawmakers will continue to work with the governor “to make sure all women have these resources at their fingertips.”

Hochul said the funding provider “is not our first countermeasure in the fight being waged against denying abortion access.”

“We’ll do whatever it takes to defend the rights of, not just New York women, but women all across this nation,” she said.

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