By Nikita Stewart
New York City will spend $250,000 to help poor women who travel from other states to obtain abortions here, inserting itself into the increasingly contentious debate over access to the procedure.
While the amount of money is relatively small, the allocation is a symbolic if provocative move as more conservative states take steps to all but ban abortion.
The money will go to the New York Abortion Access Fund, according to City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, a Democrat from Manhattan, and Jennifer Fermino, a spokeswoman for the Council speaker, Corey Johnson. Abortion rights activists believe that this is the first time that a city will allocate money specifically for abortions.
City officials said the contribution, which would be included in the budget being negotiated between the Council and the mayor’s office, would allow about 500 women to terminate their pregnancies.