Conservative Pushback against Women’s Equality Act
Governor Cuomo has proposed the ” Women’s Equality Act” to update and codify New York’s various laws that affect women to bring them into compliance with the notion of Equality. This includes references to equal pay for equal work, anti-discrimination law and health care law–including abortion rights. When Roe v Wade was established on the national level New York’s laws were not changed to reflect many of the aspects covered in that Supreme Court decision. Now this new Act would bring our state’s laws into uniform codification, partly to safeguard these rights if there was some dilution or repeal of Row v Wade at the Supreme Court.
Naturally, the anti-choice conservatives have begun campaigns against this measure by spreading “misinformation, or as I call it “LIES “, about what the law would do. Please note that State Senator Kathy Marchione (R) our state Senator, District 43, , is heading the challenge to the “Women’s Equality Act”
You can contact Senator Marhione at her Albany Office: 518-455-2381
or e-mail her at email@example.com
Below is a rebuttal to those efforts.
Posted on January 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm by Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief
Mylan Denerstein, who in addition to being Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s counsel is also a woman, released an op-ed piece on his women’s equality agenda — specifically the portion devoted to codifying abortion protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade in state health law. Tuesday brought a coordinated pushback from conservative and Catholic groups and Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos, who argue that, as proposed, the Reproductive Health Act would throw open the gates to late-term or “partial-birth” abortions.
Not true, Denerstein insists:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a bold 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda that promises just what the name of the bill would suggest: women’s equality. Among other things, the act would help ensure that women are paid equal wages to men for similar work performed and help protect women from discrimination in employment and housing due to domestic violence.
The agenda also includes codifying in state law an important right—protecting a woman’s right to choose. What the Governor’s proposal would do is codify in New York statute the rights that all women already have under existing federal law. The law would not advance, or remove, any provisions not already in current federal law or legal precedent. Why then do we need a state law you might ask. The reason is straightforward, but critically important. Since Roe v. Wade the State never fully updated its laws to reflect the reproductive rights established by the courts and federal law and if the Supreme Court were to ever reverse the now long-established precedent, a woman in New York would consequently lose many of her current rights that relate to her own reproductive health and freedom. Membership or opinions of the nation’s Supreme Court may change: protection of a woman’s right to choose should not. The Governor’s proposal will protect against that possibility.
As simple as this provision is, it has resulted in some wildly false misinformation, which must be corrected for the record. Contrary to what some have suggested, the Governor’s proposal would not infringe on religious or moral beliefs, which are already federally protected, nor would it enable anyone other than licensed medical professionals to perform abortions, nor would it alter the current long-standing ban on “partial birth abortion”.
The Governor’s opinion is that he fully supports a woman’s right to choose and that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Understandably reproductive choice comes down to a question of personal conscience. People can have different opinions, and we greatly respect those differences. However, scare tactics spread through misleading information are no way to engage in an honest dialogue about the issue.