News Abortion

Despite Senate Reluctance, New York Assembly Passes Bill to Codify Abortion Rights

Robin Marty

The New York State Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass Gov. Cuomo's ten-point Women's Equality Act intact, but Republicans and a handful of conservative Democrats in the state senate have sworn the bill will be defeated unless the abortion platform is removed.

The New York State Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ten-point Women’s Equality Act intact, rejecting calls to remove a plank that codifies the right to obtain an abortion. After passing 97-47, the bill heads to the state senate, where Republicans and a handful of conservative Democrats have sworn the bill will be defeated unless the abortion platform is removed.

After the successful vote, Gov. Cuomo urged members of the state senate to reconsider their opposition and to vote through the entire legislation. “Each and every part of the Women’s Equality Act is vitally important to the future of women in our state, and New Yorkers deserve to know where all their elected representatives stand on all of them,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Other supporters of the abortion rights plank chastised their fellow colleagues for refusing to push the bill forward as written, testifying to the struggles that women underwent to receive abortions prior to legalization, and reminding lawmakers that those days could return if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. “You can’t check your uterus at the door,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Independent Democratic Conference, a four-person group within the state senate, is requesting co-sponsors to the bill to assist in pushing the bill onto the floor. Gov. Cuomo has publicly rejected the effort, stating that the vote should be taken regardless of how many people co-sponsor or whether the bill will be shown to fail or succeed prior to the vote. “I don’t agree with that,” Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom, a local public radio show. “That says we’ll take a vote if we have enough supporters. The point of taking the vote is making people say they’re in opposition. There’s two questions: Who supports it? And the second question is: Who opposes it?”

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The state legislature adjourns for 2013 at the end of the day Friday.

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