Photo Courtesy of Rep. Meng
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Rep. Meng on Friday at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens in Jamaica.
By Forum Staff
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra visited Queens on Friday where he and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) participated in a community conversation with city abortion providers to mark National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.
This annual observance, held each year on March 10, recognizes the work of abortion providers (doctors, nurses, and other personnel) in New York and across the nation. Despite facing harassment and threats of violence, abortion providers continue to work tirelessly to ensure access to safe and legal abortion care.
The event featured local abortion providers sharing their stories and experiences of delivering reproductive health services to New Yorkers and their fight to protect reproductive freedoms, especially following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade last year. It also included abortion providers and leaders from the City and State Health Departments, as well as reproductive rights advocates from Queens and across New York City.
“I thank Secretary Becerra for coming to our borough to highlight National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, and underscoring how vital reproductive freedom is in Queens and throughout our nation,” said Meng. “Abortion providers and our city and state government partners are on the front lines working nonstop to ensure that safe and quality abortion care is accessible to New Yorkers. As a champion of reproductive rights, I will continue doing all I can to make sure that women have the right to make their own choices for their health. With abortion rights under attack in our country, especially since the overturning of Roe V. Wade, it is more important than ever to keep up this fight.”
“At HHS, we are staunchly committed to protecting and expanding access to reproductive health care, including abortion care, and we’ll never stop fighting so long as these rights and freedoms are under assault,” said Becerra.
The community conversation was held in Meng’s district in the auditorium of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens in Jamaica.
“NYC Health + Hospitals is committed to ensuring access to safe, legal and affordable abortion care at all of its 11 hospitals by removing barriers and raising public awareness about women’s rights and the options available for those seeking abortions,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “On Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, I want to recognize all of our staff who provide the highest quality care to our patients who need it.”
National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day was established in 1996 to show appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and others who serve as abortion care providers. It was created after a white supremacist, anti-abortion extremist murdered Dr. David Gunn on March 10, 1993, a doctor who was an abortion provider in Florida. It was the first known instance of the murder of an abortion provider.
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually. It has a robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers and anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. The health system treats patients regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.