Governor Cuomo unveiled his Women’s Equality Agenda (officially titled the “Women’s Equality Act”) yesterday and urged the legislature to take up the proposal, which includes the 10 elements he identified as vital policy concerns for women during his State of the State this past January. One of the 10 was the contentious provision intended to change state law to allow abortions after 24 weeks to protect a women’s health.
This element of the legislation is the most controversial of the entire proposal–but the legislation is merely intended to align state law with federal law, which allows women to seek an abortion later in the pregnancy if her health or life is in danger. Currently, state law allows abortions after 24 weeks only if the woman’s life is at risk.
Other provisions of the bill include new efforts to guarantee that women are paid the same as men in the workplace, increased penalties for those convicted of human trafficking, and strengthened order-of-protection laws for victims of domestic violence. The legislation is all but assured to pass the Democratic-controlled Assembly but it faces a tough fight in the Senate, where power of the chamber is controlled by the Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference.
Our religious voice is of vital importance as the legislature begins to consider one of the most inclusive proposals in recent memory intended to strengthen and protect women’s health and equality. The Reform Jewish Movement believes in women as capable, moral decision makers who are responsible for their own health and well being in the workplace and in society. Contact your state legislators today to urge them to stand up for the women of New York State by vocally supporting the Women’s Equality Agenda.
Read more about the Women’s Equality Agenda here.