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Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Is a Guest on MSNBC With Yasmin Vossoughian


Earlier today, Governor Hochul was a guest on MSNBC with Yasmin Vossoughian.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

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A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

Yasmin Vossoughian: Joining me now, I want to bring in New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Governor Hochul, thanks so much for joining us on this. We really appreciate it. We got a couple of things to talk through with you this hour. We are thankful that you’re joining us on this. New York is seeing a very slow uptick in out-of-state patients seeking abortion care. How prepared, Governor, are clinics there, and the state generally, for a potential surge if, in fact, the Supreme Court strikes down Roe?

Governor Hochul: Well, we anticipated this. Unfortunately, we already have a shortage somewhat of healthcare workers resulting from COVID, but I just put in $10 billion in our budget to ramp up all healthcare services. And in light of what’s coming down in this bombshell, this extraordinary development, which is so disturbing on many levels, that we are going to be preparing our healthcare providers, and making sure people know that these services will be available to New Yorkers. We saw that when New York State became one of the first large states to enshrine these rights, even before Roe v. Wade, we had it in 1970, the right to an abortion, that we had over 200,000 women come to our state at that time. So we fully anticipate there will be people who travel here, but it is so unfortunate that this will even have to be the situation, where people have to flee their own homes, flee their families, just to get a basic human right.

Yasmin Vossoughian: What is disseminating that $10 billion look like for you inside New York State? Where is it going? Where is the money going?

Governor Hochul: That’s for healthcare overall, I mean, it was to shore up our hospitals. It’s going to healthcare providers overall. There are many doctors who provide both abortion services, reproductive services, counseling, but we are also going to be helping with our telehealth services, making sure that insurance companies cover this so we can make sure that if someone wants to get a prescription for medication abortions, that that is available as well. In the budget I just passed, we have a requirement that insurance companies cover abortion, as well as we’re one of 15 states where Medicaid covers it. So, we’ve been progressive. We actually enshrined the rights of Roe v. Wade into state law in 2019, but we’re also looking at a constitutional amendment, just to bolster our protections for New York women.

Yasmin Vossoughian: I’ve got to say much of the women that I’ve been speaking to on the streets here in Washington, DC are not confident the Democrats can actually get something done legislatively, if in fact Roe is overturned. Do you believe this is going to be able to drive voters to the polls come the midterm elections?

Governor Hochul: Absolutely, absolutely, 100 percent. Abortion is on the ballot now. Seismic shift in people’s attitudes and what is 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. Three Supreme Court justices who misrepresented their positions on what precedent really is when they came before the Senate. Now we have the collateral damage, which is an earthquake across our nation. So people understand now, this is what happens when you don’t elect Democrats. I believe this is going to energize the base. This is going to shift the dynamic, and Republicans are now going to be running scared in states all across this nation because 70 percent of Americans, Democrats, and Republicans, want these basic human rights left alone, like they’ve been for half a century.

Yasmin Vossoughian: Governor, what do you need from the federal government if, in fact, New York turns out to be a place in which women are seeking out abortion services?

Governor Hochul: We’ll need federal help as well. This is an area where the Biden Administration can help us financially. We would appreciate that support, because this is going to be an enormous cost to us, but we want people to feel that this is a safe harbor. This is a fundamental right under assault. Come to New York, this is the birthplace of the women’s rights movement. We’re very proud of that. And as the first woman Governor, I govern the largest population of any state in the nation run by a woman Governor, New York is big, we have a lot of people, we have a lot of energy. It’s a progressive state. But we hold these rights dear, and we’ll fight to protect them.

Yasmin Vossoughian: New York Governor, Kathy Hochul. Thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate this.

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