Mayor Adams on women's health agenda and migrant crisis in NYC

Mayor Adams on women’s health agenda and migrant crisis in NYC

Mayor Eric Adams appeared Thursday on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” to debate his latest pledge to prioritize girls’s health, starting with a rollout of free abortion drugs on the metropolis’s sexual health clinics.

The mayor took questions from callers and mentioned how he took an interest in girls’s health care and why he wished to “send a message” to girls throughout the nation following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The mayor additionally emphasised that any anti-abortion protester routinely seen throughout town exterior a clinic might be allowed to protest

Adams additionally spoke in regards to the ongoing migrant crisis and what he’s on the lookout for from Albany relating to serving to town construct extra housing.

Hear Mayor Eric Adams talking about his women’s health agenda on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC:

Under is a transcript of this week’s section.

Lehrer: Why this announcement and why now?

Mayor Adams: Nicely, it got here from a collection of conversations over time, really. I began this pursuit again after I was the borough president in Brooklyn. We did a variety of work round doulas, work round coping with maternal morbidity. And I noticed that when I turn out to be the mayor, I can take the work we did in Brooklyn and make it citywide.

It was simply actually conversations with my sisters, my mom. Watching the ladies who have been in my life, in a method or one other, and simply how unfair we have now been towards girls and their health care wants. And we need to take an actual daring method. Not solely the abortion tablet, however simply actually to redefine girls, and their our bodies, and the taboos that we have hooked up to them. And I believe that has prevented actually among the ample health care. And that is what number of girls have shared with me.

I see they have been scheduled to start providing the drugs yesterday, on the first of the 4 clinics that can have them. The Morrisania Sexual Health Clinic in the Bronx, Fulton Avenue close to 169th Avenue. Have you learnt in the event that they acquired this system going?

Of my data, it must be up and operating. I used to be in D.C. yesterday. It was not on my briefing this morning, however of my data, we must be up and operating. I am certain there have been no hiccups in getting it completed.

How will it work? Simply stroll in? Do you want a physician’s prescription, or an insurance coverage card or something?

The Division of Health commissioner, Dr. [Ashwin] Vasan, they’ll checklist on the web site all the ceaselessly requested questions, so individuals can know precisely the way it’s completed. However it should be handled the identical approach we’re utilizing our 11 Health + Hospitals that is already in place. And historically it doesn’t take care of no prescription. That is free for individuals, to allow them to get the mandatory care in the event that they’re trying to terminate their being pregnant.

The New York Put up, being The New York Put up, headlined their story on the abortion drugs this fashion: “Adams Inks Deal to Offer Abortion Pills at New York City Clinics Sparking Tourism Fears.” After which it says, “Making the Big Apple the national tourist destination to snuff out pregnancies.” By no means thoughts that, in my opinion no less than, it is offensive to confer with girls in one of the crucial tough moments of their lives as vacationers. However will this be accessible to non-New Yorkers, no questions requested?

Sure, it’s. We have made it clear, after the horrendous Supreme Court docket resolution, that that is going to be a metropolis the place girls are going to have the suitable to decide on and make these tough medical choices. And if somebody comes from exterior town, they are going to be entitled to this identical process. Sure, it’s.

And it isn’t tourism. And I concur with you, I believe that it’s unfair when a lady makes a tough selection like this, they need to not must be restricted as a result of the state does not respect their proper to decide on what occurs to their physique.

So is that a part of your purpose, in truth, to assist contribute to abortion entry after the Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade, resulting in it being severely restricted in different states?

A major purpose is to make sure girls in this state have no matter is obtainable for them for his or her health care wants. However on the identical time, we wished to ship a message to the ladies of this nation, as a result of our relationship with girls in this nation will not be restricted to the geographical boundaries of New York state. I’ve aunts, and aunties, and nieces which can be throughout this nation, and I wished to be sure that we ship a message that irrespective of who you’re, that you’ve got a proper to be in management of your physique, and New York state goes to be a number one voice on that.

I see from our newsroom’s reporting that three of the eight sexual health clinics town had earlier than the pandemic are nonetheless shut down attributable to staffing shortages, in response to the health division. They have been first repurposed for COVID use, in response to the health division, and now closed, if I am understanding this appropriately, three of the eight. So when you’re pledging to make women’s health a cornerstone of your agenda, do it is advisable get these again up and operating and have that workforce absolutely staffed quickly?

That’s our purpose, however let’s be clear, we nonetheless have our 11 Health + Hospital areas which can be up and operational. And as we proceed to recruit and employees up, we do need to get these three again up and working. And Dr. Vasan has completed a tremendous job, he and his workforce — and Dr. [Mitchell] Katz over at H+H — throughout these extraordinarily difficult occasions whenever you’re coping with the employees shortages that your complete nation is experiencing.

Can individuals additionally get free abortion drugs on the metropolis’s public hospitals, which you simply talked about?

Sure, they’ll.

So is one form of facility extra applicable than the opposite, relying on the affected person?

What I believe many individuals do not understand is that there’s a degree of intimidation individuals really feel typically after they go into a big hospital facility, that is totally different from an area clinic in your neighborhood. And that is what we need to at all times take note of, among the challenges that folks have that we might not even take into consideration. You and I’ll stroll right into a hospital constructing and not be intimidated in any respect, however there are giant teams who really feel extraordinarily intimidated by strolling into giant buildings, giant constructions, governmental areas, and we need to be culturally delicate. And we additionally consider that native health care clinics can present an actual bridge to those that are in search of some type of health care wants.

Sarah in Manhattan, you are on WNYC with the mayor. Hello, Sarah.

Sarah: Hello. My identify’s Sarah, and I am a part of NYC for Abortion Rights, a grassroots collective preventing for reproductive entry in New York. I might like to listen to what Mayor Adams thinks in regards to the anti-abortion harassment that occurs each single day at abortion clinics throughout town. Each week, a big group, sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York and Cardinal Dolan, known as Witness for Life, harasses and intimidates sufferers. The NYPD retains issuing them a allow to harass sufferers, despite the fact that a number of members of this group have been arrested and charged for clinic invasions, and have federal instances towards them exterior of New York Metropolis. Provided that Mayor Adams claims he cares a lot about abortion entry, what does he must say about this? Would not these individuals begin harassing the 4 new sexual health clinics?

Mr. Mayor?

Certain, thanks to your query. We all know that town is a metropolis of free speech, even after we disagree with the speech. Nobody is ready to violate or hurt anybody as they take part in some type of protest. We have completed a tremendous job to make sure that nobody is harmed at these areas, we will proceed to take action. However it is a metropolis that everyone knows, simply as I marched with these to combat on the suitable of ladies having the suitable to decide on, there are those that are going to march towards that.

That’s the complexity of residing in a metropolis like New York in a rustic like America. Our purpose is to ensure nobody is harmed, nobody is handled in an unfair approach and we’re going to proceed to take action. We’re not going to at all times agree with those that are marching in protest, however we’re going to do it in a law-abiding approach and that’s what the New York Metropolis Police Division has been doing.

The caller used the phrase ‘harassment.’ The place’s the road as you outline it, because the NYPD defines it between exercising your proper to free speech in a protest and harassing people who find themselves making an attempt to go in for medical care?

Proper. There are clear pointers based mostly on the prison process regulation and the penal regulation on when somebody crosses the road and they go from the suitable to protest to harassing. And the Police Division has saved individuals at a protected distance away to permit people to stroll in and out of a clinic to ensure they get their medical wants. And as soon as they cross that line to go from their proper to protest to harassing somebody, the Police Division takes the suitable motion. That’s what we should at all times do.

You understand in addition to I do this, we have now individuals who protest. They’ll typically yell, they may scream, they may use, typically, language that’s simply actually inappropriate. However that is town and nation we dwell in. Typically we like what the protesters are saying, typically we dislike what the protesters are saying, however that is the nation we dwell in.

Margaret in the East Village, you are on WNYC with the mayor. Hello, Margaret.

Margaret: Hello. I can not inform you how pleased I’m to listen to you say the phrases pelvic ground bodily remedy. Nobody ever talks about this and it is so, so essential. I actually have had a number of experiences with getting pelvic ground bodily remedy, first in Massachusetts after I was in faculty and then right here in New York Metropolis final 12 months. My expertise was, and that is actually wild, that there was just one pelvic ground bodily remedy apply in New York Metropolis that even took insurance coverage. They did not take my insurance coverage, it took me a number of months and most likely no less than 12 hours on the telephone with my insurance coverage firm to get this lined. It was actually a wild expertise and for some context for individuals who do not know what pelvic ground bodily remedy is, I might like to share just a little bit. Typically girls expertise points with their pelvic ground, which is a muscular space inside their our bodies.

They’ll have this challenge after childbirth, they’ll have this earlier than childbirth. It could imply that they’ve bother with incontinence. It could additionally imply that they are unable to expertise sexual activity and even use tampons as a result of their our bodies are so tight, associated to trauma or like I mentioned, even childbirth. So it is a critical challenge for girls, it is extraordinarily painful and it is tremendous, tremendous costly to deal with. Even with insurance coverage, I spent 1000’s of {dollars} most likely on this. And it is so disruptive to your life, you could have points with incontinence like I mentioned, or intercourse.

Some individuals cannot even conceive naturally. So anyway, it is tremendous essential for girls, nobody ever talks about it. And I am curious what these facilities seem like, what number of of them there might be, and furthermore, what’s the fee like? How are you charging sufferers for this service that you’ll be offering, as a result of it is actually costly? And the place are you getting the individuals who do it? As a result of there are very, only a few bodily therapists who specialize, really, in pelvic ground remedy.

Margaret, thanks very a lot. And I will simply say for the context of people that simply joined that in the intro, I discussed that in the press launch on women’s health from the mayor’s workplace, it talked about that one in three girls would possibly want pelvic ground bodily remedy in their lifetimes after being pregnant or for different causes, and that you simply’re planning to develop that out, Mr. Mayor. What extra are you able to say?

I do not know when you picked up the power in her voice. That is what this motion is all about. For therefore lengthy, girls of this metropolis and nation, if not of the globe, have been residing this silent struggling and nobody wished to step up and actually acknowledge it. And I hope our announcement is now forcing this dialog in the forefront and the summit that we will maintain in March with leaders everywhere in the globe to return in and actually begin zeroing in on this challenge.

The summit goes to help us in answering many of those questions, however the fee of Division of Health and Psychological Hygiene, these medical subjects are thus far over my head, I can not even start to present good medical solutions to them. That’s the reason the consultants are going to be a part of figuring out, with areas, how we will do these therapies, how we will incorporate it in our present system. That’s the function of Dr. Vasan and our complete Division of Health and Psychological Hygiene workforce.

Margaret, keep tuned, it seems like. Who else is coming to this Ladies’s Health Summit in March, if you already know but?

We’re partnering with a bunch of medical professionals, however what is actually pleasing to me is that this metropolis has a considerable and most likely the most important variety of women-help startups in New York Metropolis. Now we have turn out to be nearly a spot the place startups need to be due to the joy and the openness of partaking in these conversations, so we’re partnering with plenty of women’s startup corporations.

We will have medical professionals. We need to embrace a few of our medical faculties, as a result of a lot of our medical faculties should not given the correct coaching on these essential women’s health points. And we simply need to actually change this dialog and be very forthright and considerate as we transfer in this new route. It is going to be open to a lot of individuals and we’re actually excited in regards to the quantity of people that have reached out to us and they need to take part in this.

Mr. Mayor, a few different issues briefly when you’re right here, we have about 5 minutes left. You have been lobbying Gov. [Kathy] Hochul and President [Joe] Biden, I see, to do extra to ease the monetary burden on town of resettling so many asylum-seeking migrants. So rapidly, you say it may value town as a lot as $2 billion this 12 months, how responsive have the mayor or governor been?

It is greater than the monetary assist, however it’s the suitable assist. This has at all times been a protected haven and a welcoming place, this metropolis. This can be a metropolis of immigrants and as we put a person on a pathway to citizenship or a pathway to dwell in this metropolis and nation, we should do it in a accountable approach. The monetary burden, we have now not acquired any help in any respect. We have been recognized to get $2 million from FEMA.

Because of Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and Congressman [Hakeem] Jeffries, there’s a substantial over $800 million that was positioned in a invoice that was handed, however we do not know what’s going to go to New York and we have to actually coordinate this challenge. I can not say this sufficient. What I noticed down in El Paso reveals that there is a lack of correct coordination and one individual must be accountable for coordinating and doing an actual decompression technique throughout this nation to take care of this challenge to present individuals the suitable to be handled in a dignified approach. That’s not what is occurring proper now.

I learn a quote of you in the Put up asking the governor to resettle among the asylum-seekers in upstate areas which can be shedding inhabitants. That could possibly be a win-win, theoretically. Did you ask the governor that immediately and has she been responsive?

Sure. And I can not thank Gov. Hochul sufficient. She understands the seriousness of this second. And you’re proper. There are areas all through the state which can be coping with inhabitants points, and are coping with employment points. We consider that there’s a win-win. We all know that those that are immigrants in this metropolis, they supply an actual enhance to our economic system. Throughout COVID, consider it or not, most of the companies that remained open have been immigrant companies. And we all know there’s an ideal mixture of inviting those that need to be part of the New York environment. Nevertheless it must be completed proper and it isn’t been completed proper. And we had a number of conversations with the governor’s workplace and got here up with some actual options, however we additionally want the nationwide authorities to do their half. This can be a nationwide drawback and a nationwide authorities should reply.

It looks like many Republicans simply need President Biden to shut the border extra to asylum-seekers as a result of the nation cannot resettle so many. Is your place, “yes, the country can resettle this many and we will be economically stronger for it in the long run as a nation and as the city of New York. But it should be a federal responsibility?”

Sure, indisputably, we might be stronger as a nation and as a metropolis if we coordinate in an efficient approach with our NGOs, with our authorities, with our cities. We’ll coordinate correctly to make sure that those that are coming listed below are capable of assimilate into our society. And that isn’t what we’re doing now. Historical past has proven that whenever you permit that range, it solely improves upon our metropolis and our nation. And that isn’t what we’re doing now. And it is actually alarming to me that No. 1, we have now not handed actual complete immigration reform, however with this new Congress, it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get anyplace close to that. And so we won’t use that as an excuse for not coordinating an actual method to making sure that individuals who come right here throughout our borders are capable of assimilate in our society in a really considerate approach. Proper now, that is not being completed.

Final query. Does this additionally relate to your hopes for housing coverage from Albany in their new price range negotiations, together with hopefully rather more supportive housing for individuals who want supportive providers? Housing is arguably, I haven’t got to inform you subject primary for town and impacts every part else: crime, psychological health, the following era of creators and wealth turbines believing they’ll afford to return right here. So my query is, what are you on the lookout for from Albany on housing in the brand new price range negotiations?

Nicely, to start with, you noticed throughout the governor’s State of the State, she talked about an aggressive housing agenda of trying to do 800,000 items. We additionally consider that it is a moonshot second the place we need to do 500,000 new items of housing, however it begins on a number of ranges. Now we have to construct, we have now to have a look at some model of a 421-a program. Now we have to have a look at among the guidelines which can be put in place round zoning and restrictions. And we won’t consider an antiquated technique as a result of constructing has modified the inhabitants and the wants have modified lots.

We need to rethink how we’re utilizing among the 10 million sq. toes of workplace house and see how we convert that into housing. We need to make it simpler to do resort conversion. And so we have now an actual checklist of things that we want from Albany to have a look at how will we construct extra. The way in which we take care of a housing crisis is to construct extra and meaning a low earnings, which is in demand, however we additionally want center earnings as properly. As a result of my instructor and my accountant which can be married, they too are struggling. So the purpose is to construct extra and we should get the paperwork out of the best way that is stopping us from doing so.

Mr. Mayor, I do know it is a 24/7 job. It is at all times nice of you to return on. Thanks very a lot.

Thanks very a lot and sit up for talking with you in the long run.

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