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Amy Paulin speaking on the Assembly floor

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, the lead sponsor of the bill. Image courtesy of the Yonkers Tribune.

On Monday, the New York State Assembly passed the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, which strengthens criminal penalties for sex trafficking. This bill had already been passed by the Senate, alongside eight other points of the Women’s Equality Act.

While RJV took no position on the content of this one part of the 10-point Women’s Equality Act (WEA), this move by the Assembly is noteworthy because they have until recently refused to separate out the points of the WEA and pass each bill separately. This strategy has been shaped in part by opposition in the Senate to the 10th point of the plan, which would codify Roe v. Wade in New York State law, and enact further protections and provisions relating to reproductive rights.

RJV has long advocated for a full WEA — at our last Advocacy Day we lobbied for the reproductive health component, as our Reform Jewish values compel us to ensure that each woman has access to full reproductive health care, and is fully acknowledged as her own moral decision-maker.

To learn more about key social justice issues and to lobby your elected state representatives, register for RJV Advocacy Day on May 4, 2015 in Albany, NY.

If you interested in another comprehensive social justice experience, join the RJV delegation to the Consultation on Conscience in Washington, D.C. from April 26-28. There will be an opportunity for RJV supporters to convene at the Consultation, so register here and stay tuned for more information.