Stewart-Cousins first sponsored the Reproductive Health Act in 2007.
What about enshrining abortion in the NY Constitution?
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority, some pro-abortion lawmakers and activists fear Roe v. Wade could someday be overturned.
The bill to enshrine federal abortion rights would require a separate vote and approval by the Legislature to start the amendment process. The 2021 Legislature would also have to approve it before it could be sent to voters, who would have to pass the measure before it would become law.
What did Clinton say?
Clinton praised the governor for pushing for abortion protections, describing him as a “lifelong champion of these rights,” according to the Rochester Democrat.
“New York led the rest of the country even before Roe v. Wade in making abortion legal,” Clinton said during her speech.
“But the struggle for women’s equality is not something simply to be read about in the pages of your history books,” Clinton said. “It continues to be the fight of our lifetime.”
What about pro-life activists?
The Reproductive Health Act would remove protections for women if criminal penalties are removed for illegal abortions.
“A real concern is that if you take abortion out of the criminal code, what happens in instances of domestic violence where men abuse the women they are sharing living spaces with,” Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the Rochester Democrat.
“And we know there are heightened instances of domestic violence cases during pregnancy.”
Feminists Choosing Life of New York described the bill as”opposite of pro-woman,” in a statement.
FCNLY denounced the legislation in six letters it submitted to the New York Times in response to “A Woman’s Rights,” an op-ed published Dec. 28.
“One point of opposition is the heinous legalization of abortion during the second and third trimester of pregnancy through the inclusion of a broad health exception allowing women to abort viable fetuses for essentially any reason; including economic or familial health,” Kelly Brunacini, a member of the group’s board of directors, wrote in one of the letters posted on FCNLY’s website.
“The vast majority of Americans, including in New York, oppose these late-term abortions. As a New Yorker, Democrat and feminist, I can’t help but wonder what history will say about a people who allowed the legalized killing of fully formed human beings for the sake of exerting political dominance.”
The group’s letters have gone unpublished, according to FCNLY.
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