Gov. Andrew Cuomo today is detailing his 10-point women’s agenda, including strengthening abortion rights in New York.
The Democratic governor will release his bill this morning during a news conference at the Capitol with women’s rights groups, who are also holding an afternoon rally in Albany. Cuomo is making good on a pledge in his State of the State address in January to push for stronger laws to protect women in the workplace and to codify the federal Roe vs. Wade decision on abortion rights into state law.
The proposal, however, is likely to face opposition from Republican lawmakers and conservatives.
In an op-ed piece published this morning on the Huffington Post website, Cuomo, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, said New York has always led the country in the women’s movement, citing the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls more than 150 years ago.
“Since then, New York has been at the forefront of important social and legal movements that have advanced the equal treatment of all people. Over the years, however, New York has fallen behind in its role as a progressive leader on women’s rights,” Cuomo wrote. “The Women’s Equality Act, which I will introduce today, is designed to address gender inequality in our communities, and to restore New York as a leader in women’s rights.”
The so-called “Women’s Equality Act,” would not expand abortion rights in New York, Cuomo wrote, but ensure that if Roe vs. Wade were overturned, that New York’s laws would be preserved. It would continue to provide protections for health-care providers to refrain “from providing an abortion due to religious or moral beliefs,” Cuomo said.
“Contrary to the opposition’s assertion, this language in no way expands abortion rights but only codifies federal law,” Cuomo wrote. “This is important because the Supreme Court could change in compositions, or opinion, and New York works to protect women’s right to choose.”