Women’s groups met with Cuomo behind closed doors today to help build a campaign to support his agenda.
Cuomo issued a 10-point plan Wednesday to boost women’s rights in the state, including a Reproductive Health Act that would strengthen abortion rights and an equal pay act.
The groups said that women are an increasingly powerful voting bloc, and Cuomo is recognizing their importance. In last year’s presidential election, President Obama won with 55 percent of the women’s vote compared to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, exit polls showed.
Cuomo’s agenda “is a clear articulation of what women’s equality truly means,” said Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. “What we saw in this last election is that the voters, both women and men, are very clear that it is high time that women are treated as equal partners in all walks of life, in all aspects of our lives.”
Tracey Brooks, president of Family Planning Advocates of New York State, said the groups would be putting together a game plan to help Cuomo’s efforts.
“We will move this agenda forward through this legislative session,” she said.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, wrote to Cuomo to urge him to drop his support of the Reproductive Health Act. Dolan said the measure would expand abortion rights in a state with an abortion rate twice the national average; he said about four in 10 pregnancies end in abortion in New York.
“This measure is specifically designed to expand access to abortion, and therefore to increase the abortion rate,” Dolan wrote. “I am hard pressed to think of a piece of legislation that is less needed or more harmful than this one.”