Women’s groups tonight urged the Senate to take up 10 individual bills on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s women’s rights agenda, including a controversial plan to expand abortion rights.
“The Women’s Equality Coalition’s main goal has always been to ensure that the full 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act become law,” the groups said in a statement. “We, therefore, call on the Senate leadership to allow a vote on all 10 components of the Women’s Equality Act, which the governor has now also introduced as individual bills.”
Cuomo tonight submitted 10 individual bills on his women’s agenda, essentially daring the Senate to either take each one up or reject them all.
The coalition said it would not accept a Senate proposal to simply leave out the abortion piece, saying they continue to “be unified in unwavering support for passing these measures this session.”
The statement added: “We urge bipartisan support for this legislation that will, together, address the multiple and interconnected barriers women face. Passage will make an important difference in the lives of 10 million New York women, and reestablish our state as the leader New Yorkers and the nation expect it to be.”
The group said it changed bill language to alleviate concerns that the abortion piece would be an expansion of abortion laws. the have argued that it would codify abortion rights into state law,
“The Women’s Equality Coalition has consistently responded to legislators’ concerns about the WEA, changing the language on multiple parts of the bill, including Part J, which codifies Roe v. Wade,” the statement reads. “We have now eliminated any final excuses by giving every legislator the opportunity to vote according to his or her conscience and their constituents’ needs and values.”