A group of people of diverse background and ages, smiling. Banner text reads: Sexual and reproductive justice. When all people have the power and resources to make decisions about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction.

Sexual and Reproductive Justice

Sexual and reproductive justice exists when all people have the power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality and reproduction. That means every person has the right to:

  • Choose to have or not have children.
  • Choose the conditions under which to give birth or create a family.
  • Care for their children with the necessary social support in a safe and healthy environment.
  • Control their own body and self-expression, free from any form of sexual or reproductive oppression.

The term "reproductive justice" was coined by a group of black women in 1994. From this group, a framework and SisterSong, a collective led by indigenous women and women of color, emerged.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Bill of Rights

In New York City, you have the right to access sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. You have these rights while you are in NYC, no matter where you live. Read on for the list of your sexual and reproductive health rights:

Bill of Rights

When seeking sexual and reproductive health services in NYC, you have the following rights:

  1. To receive the following services without parental notification or consent:
    • Abortion, including medication abortion, which most insurance plans (including Medicaid) must cover and for which financial assistance may be available if you are uninsured or underinsured
    • Miscarriage management, including medication management of miscarriage
    • Birth control and emergency contraception, which most insurance plans (including Medicaid) must cover without any cost to patients
    • Sexual health care, including testing, treatment and prevention services for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
    • Prenatal and postnatal care, which most insurance plans (including Medicaid) must cover
    • Care following trauma, including sexual violence and intimate partner violence

  2. To be free from force, threats of force or physical obstruction when trying to obtain reproductive health care

  3. To request information from your health care provider about sexual and reproductive health

  4. To receive information about hospitals’ or birth centers’ childbirth practices and procedures when you are pregnant

  5. To receive all the information you need to give informed consent for any nonemergency procedure or treatment, including information about risks and benefits

  6. To choose or refuse any procedure or treatment

  7. To choose who will make sexual and reproductive health care decisions for you if you are unable

  8. To have privacy and confidentiality in your medical care

  9. To be treated with consideration, respect and dignity in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints

  10. To access sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, at NYC Sexual Health Clinics and NYC Health + Hospitals facilities if you are undocumented

  11. To file a complaint about unlawful discrimination and harassment in employment based on your sexual and reproductive health care decisions, and harassment in employment, housing and places of public accommodation based on your gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other protected identity

This Bill of Rights is a critical part of NYC’s efforts to achieve sexual and reproductive justice for all New Yorkers. It does not create any new rights not already established in law and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact an attorney for further advice.

NYC Standards for Respectful Care at Birth

You have the right to respectful, safe and quality care during your birthing experience.

The NYC Standards for Respectful Care at Birth inform, educate and support people giving birth. These standards encourage you to know your rights and be an active decision-maker in your birthing experience. These standards are also helpful for providers, helping them respect and be aware of their patients’ rights during pregnancy, labor and childbirth.

The standards focus on six areas of respectful care: education, informed consent, decision making, quality of care, support and dignity and non-discrimination.

Maternal Care Information and Services

Sexual and Reproductive Care Information and Services

  • Abortion Services: Resources on abortion care, your abortion rights and connection to the NYC Abortion Access Hub (1-877-NYC-AHUB)
  • All-Options Talkline: Support for pregnant people who want to learn about their options, including continuing their pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption.
  • Birth Control (including emergency contraception): Education materials on birth control options and connection to services.
  • NYC Health Map: Location-based health services available by address, ZIP code or borough
  • New York City Sexual Health Clinics: Low- to no-cost sexual health services
  • Sexual Consent: Resources for teens, adults and educators on sexual consent
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health: Information for providers about sexual and reproductive health issues

Community Engagement Group

From 2015 to 2019, the NYC Health Department convened the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Community Engagement Group to organize activities encouraging all New Yorkers to safely express their sexuality and gender identity with dignity. View resources the group developed:


If you believe your right to informed consent has been violated, you should contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury. For help finding an attorney, call the New York City Bar Association's legal referral service at 212-626-7373.

If you believe you have been mistreated or denied care or services because of your gender, your pregnancy or any other protected category under the New York City Human Rights Law, you can file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights by calling 311.

Additional Resources

More Information