Coronacast Episode 08 – Stimulus Relief and Accessing Reproductive Healthcare in the Time of COVID-19

By Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal

This podcast series includes NYU policy students that will analyze policy issues and solutions emerging in real-time around the country.

On this final episode of Coronacast, hosts Luisa and Rhea dissect the second COVID relief stimulus package which failed to reach a consensus between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. They analyze the series of executive orders subsequently signed into effect by President Trump that included changes to unemployment benefits and school funding. 

Today’s speaker is NYU Wagner MPA candidate Ashley Emery, discussing the challenges in accessing quality reproductive health care in the time of COVID-19. She also describes policy trends that enforce anti-abortion agendas.


0:00: Welcome from hosts Rhea and Luisa

0:37: Top news of the week 

11:26: Ashley Emery walks us through the the challenges in accessing quality reproductive health care.

Guest Speaker

Ashley Emery is a second-year MPA-PNP student at NYU Wagner, focusing on public policy and advocacy. She is currently the Senior Policy and Advocacy Fellow at Jewish Women International, where she focuses on reproductive freedom and contraceptive equity policy. She has cultivated her expertise in reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy and electoral politics through work at the New York State Democratic Party, Vote Run Lead, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. She holds a BA in International Studies and Spanish from Johns Hopkins University.


Rhea Almeida is second-year MPA international student at NYU Wagner hailing from Mumbai, India. In the past, she has worked in the fields of policy, advocacy, and development for a women’s working rights group in India. Prior to that, she worked as a TV news journalist in New Delhi. Her areas of interest include workers’ rights, gender equality, grassroot level advocacy and coronavirus response policy. In addition to being contributing editor for The Wagner Review, she serves as senator for the Wagner Student Association, and events chair for the Wagner Policy Alliance. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

Luisa Portugal is a second-year MPA student at NYU Wagner specializing in International Development Management & Policy. She earned an LLM in Constitutional Law and Theory in Brazil. Her main topics of interest are international development, climate change and the coronavirus crisis. Luisa will serve as Co-Chair of Events for the Alliance for Climate Change and Environment (ACE) in the upcoming year. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

Resources to learn more:

News Segment:

Music Credit: Pamgaea by Kevin MacLeod