Senate to take up Women’s Equality Act — minus abortion measure


Portions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act will be among the first bills passed by the state Senate in 2015, but the chamber won’t be taking up a provision that would bolster the state’s abortion law.

SenateChamberThe Senate’s Republican leadership announced it would vote on eight planks of the much-debated legislation Monday evening, which would strengthen the state’s penalties for human trafficking and sexual harassment while enacting an equal-pay law, among other provisions.

But the GOP won’t allow a vote on the most controversial provision of Cuomo’s bill, which would alter the state’s abortion laws to take it out of the state’s penal code and formally recognize federal Roe v. Wade rights.

The act was the subject of extensive debate in closely contested Senate races across the state. Republicans in the Senate have refused to vote on the abortion provision, while the Assembly’s Democratic leadership has refused to allow a vote on a bill that separates it out.

“It is a new year and time to put progress over politics by passing effective measures that provide women with the protections they need and the opportunities they deserve,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said in a statement. “The Senate is making the passing of these bills an immediate priority because women need the politics to end so that New York can enact a Women’s Equality Agenda without further delay.”

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, dismissed the Republicans’ announcement as a “political ploy.” Cuomo first introduced the Women’s Equality Act in 2013, and it has languished as part of the legislative stalemate since.

“To once again reject the full Women’s Equality Act is deeply disturbing,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. “Let us remember that the final point is simply codifying current federal law into New York State law and saying anything to the contrary is a deliberate distraction from their extremist anti-choice views.”

Cuomo’s bill originally included 10 points. A version of one of the measures related to penalties for domestic violence has already been signed into law.


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  1. What Senstor George Latimer couldn’t get the Late Term Abortion plank included?

    Wonder why?

  2. Latimer and all the other Republos and Dems voted for the 9 bills that came before them.
    Sorry you had to create something to bash a good man.
    Sorry you didn’t snatch that Senate seta in 2012 for the GOP as you planned.
    Sorry you didn’t snatch it in 2014, either.
    I guess you’ll have to continue character assassination through 2016.

    And sorry that 65% of New Yorkers do not approve of YOUR position on a woman’s right to choose.

  3. Dollie knows best.
    Dollie says you can’t end a pregnancy. Not ever.
    Dollie says it doesn’t matter if you were raped.
    Dollie says it doesn’t matter if the health of the mother is at stake.
    Dollie decides, not you.

    Dollie-ocracy at work.
    Not what the majority wants.
    It’s what Dollie wants.

    34 Senators say “Dollie” knows best.

  4. Frederic, I think you missed the issue, nobody’s talking about changing or curtailing current abortion rights in NY. However Democrats, including Andrea Stewart-Cousins and George Latimer, want to legalize late term abortion in NY and they wont’ deny it.

    We’d all like this to stay in an issue for 2015 as Democrats will take another pummeling if they continue to push things most NYers don’t want, like late term abortion.

    Ollie, nice rant, was there a hidden meaning or message in there? If you have nothing say, why post?

  5. Here’s a message for you Dottie: you’re out of step with Westchester trying to impose your beliefs on the majority of us. We will gain the Senate majority soon and you’ll really have something to cry about