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City Council Member Gave Discretionary Funds to Anti-Abortion Clinic

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last summer, New York City Council member Vickie Paladino awarded $10,000 in discretionary funds to Bridge to Life, a Queens-based anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center, for the 2023 budget cycle. 

Across the five boroughs, there are at least 11 crisis pregnancy centers in operation, outnumbering abortion clinics. Such centers, which pose as health clinics with the intention of persuading women not to get abortions, put poor and working-class immigrant women at risk, pro-choice advocates told Documented’s Labor Reporter, Amir Khafagy

Many of these centers are located in heavily immigrant communities, like Mott Haven in the Bronx and Jackson Heights in Queens, says Elizabeth Estrada, who works at the Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice as its New York field and advocacy manager. She said that these centers prey on Latina women seeking abortions. 

Another advocate, Aviva Zadoff, who serves as the director of advocacy and volunteer engagement with the National Council of Jewish Women New York, said anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, like Bridge to Life, specifically target vulnerable immigrant women who have few options.

They tend to “target low-income people, and non-native speakers; people who are attracted to a place that is offering free services,” she said. Zadoff added that City Council member Paladino was “essentially using taxpayer’s money to support an institution that lies to people and intimidates people and works to deceive people.”

City Council member Vickie Paladino’s anti-choice stance is not new. Back in 2018, anti-abortion group Personhood NY endorsed Paladino when she ran for the New York State Senate. But since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision, Paladino’s stance has recently only stood out more.

This is also not the first time City Council members  discretionary funds to Bridge to Life. Read the full report from Amir Khafagy on Documented.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

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