The impending changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s abortion bill are inconsequential to Senate Republicans, who said Thursday they still plan to block a vote on the Women’s Equality Act.
Women’s groups announced Thursday they would make changes to the abortion provision of the 10-point plan, specifically to alleviate concerns that the bill would allow partial-birth abortion, a procedure now banned under federal law.
The changes are aimed at garnering the support of a few key Republicans who are pro-choice or have moderate voting bases. Sen. Dean Skelos’ spokeswoman released a statement Thursday reiterating the conference’s intention to block the abortion piece.
“From the start, we’ve said that what the Governor is proposing is either unnecessary or an extreme measure that expands late-term abortion. Nothing has changed,” Kelly Cummings, Skelos spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday. “We remain confident, however, that an agreement can be reached on the other 9 points of the overall proposal, allowing us to achieve passage of a strong women’s equality agenda for New York.”
Sen. Thomas Libous, deputy Republican leader, said abortion is legal in New York and no updates to abortion laws are needed.
“We’re very firm on our stance. Senator Skelos and the conference has not changed. It’s not an issue that we’re going to move on, and we’ve made that very clear,” Libous said. “We’re prepared to do nine points of the 10 points, and those nine points are being talked about and negotiated. We’re very good with that, and that’s where we are.”