The New York State Senate passed on Tuesday historic legislation to protect women’s reproductive health choices and to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law — no matter what happens in Washington D.C.
“I applaud my Democratic colleagues and Leader Stewart-Cousins for taking timely action to protect women at a time of great uncertainty in our nation,” said Senator Kevin Parker. “A woman’s right to control her body is a human and civil right, and once threatened, we embark upon a slippery slope to nowhere.”
Passed on the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the Reproductive Health Act will codify the federal ruling into New York State law while modernizing the state’s statutes to further protect women’s reproductive choices.
The Senate also passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, sponsored by Senator and Women’s Health Committee Chair Julia Salazar, that will mandate insurance companies to cover FDA approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products. A third act, the Boss Bill, will prevent an employer’s religious beliefs from infringing on a woman’s health care decisions.
“While it is my hope and commitment that soon in the future we will enact single-payer, universal healthcare in New York state, I’m proud to have voted to pass the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, the Reproductive Health Act and the Boss Bill to protect our reproductive rights and further break down cost barriers,” stated Salazar.
Other Brooklyn elected officials celebrated the senate’s decisive move to protect women’s rights, particularly at a time when they are under attack from the Trump administration.
“The Reproductive Health Act corrects our archaic state law and affirms reproductive choice as a matter of privacy,” tweeted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “At a time when reproductive rights are under attack in Washington, I applaud our lawmakers for standing up and fighting back in Albany.”
Flatbush Councilmember Jumaane Williams stated that it has never been more imperative that New York codifies protections for women’s health choices into law.
“Now, as the likes of Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch have taken the court in a deeply conservative direction and Republicans launch attacks against women’s rights on a national level and in states across the country, I applaud the new Democratic majority for making this issue an immediate priority and moving quickly to pass the Reproductive Health Act,” said Williams.
Governor Andrew Cuomo moved indeed swiftly and signed the bills into law on Tuesday.