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State Senate Leaders Use Cynical Ploy to Squash Critical Reproductive Health Bill
Albany, New York – Today, the Senate majority leadership pulled NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s top legislative priority, the Reproductive Health Act (S.2844), from its rightful committee of consideration in an effort to prevent a vote on the popular measure. The bill, sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), would guarantee a woman’s right in New York State to make her own personal, private health care decisions – especially when her health is threatened during pregnancy.
"With women’s reproductive rights and access to basic health care, including birth control, under fierce attack in Congress and state legislatures across the country, it is high time to pass the Reproductive Health Act to ensure that New York State’s laws fully protect the rights and health of every woman,” said Andrea Miller, President of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. "We thank Governor Cuomo for reaffirming his support for this important legislation and urge him to take leadership on passing the bill this session.”
The Reproductive Health Act has been a main topic of conversation at the Capitol over the last few days, after Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Conference announced that it would be their top priority for defeat this session. News accounts of the Cardinal’s visit to Albany yesterday indicated this bill was a key topic of conversation with the Governor and legislators.
The Reproductive Health Act, supported by three-quarters of New York voters, would not only explicitly recognize a woman’s right to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraception, but would also fix a troubling gap in current law that fails to protect a woman’s access to care when her health is endangered later in pregnancy. In addition, the measure would bring the regulation of abortion in line with other medical procedures, ensuring that it is treated as a public health issue, not a criminal matter.