Despite a renewed push from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put Roe v. Wade rights into state law, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said Tuesday he believes there’s “no need” to bring such a bill to a vote.
Skelos, speaking to reporters in Albany, said he remains opposed to the Reproductive Health Act, a bill sponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Cuomo, however, has said he supports a bill that would only take federal abortion rights and write them into state law, though he hasn’t proposed official legislation and referred to the Reproductive Health Act in his State of the State address.
“The governor when he spoke at the State of the State, he talked about Senator (Stewart-Cousins’) reproductive health bill and said that that’s the bill he wanted to see passed,” Skelos said. “I think in New York state, the abortion laws—whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, everybody knows that those laws aren’t going to be changed in New York state.”
When asked if he would allow a vote on a bill that would only bring Roe v. Wade rights to New York law, Skelos said there was “no need.”
“Absolutely no need,” he repeated.
In his State of the State, Cuomo included the abortion issue as part of a 10-point “Women’s Equality Act” that would also include issues like equal-pay legislation and measures intended to fight sex trafficking.
During a radio interview Tuesday, Cuomo said lawmakers are afraid of putting their position on the table.
“Does a legislator support a woman’s right to choose or not?” Cuomo said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public-radio program. “They’ve avoided this vote for a long time because they don’t want to answer the question. You’re either pro-choice or you’re not pro-choice.”
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)