NY Lawmakers Endorse Proposed Abortion Rights Amendment – NBC New York

New York lawmakers took step one Friday towards amending the state structure to enshrine abortion rights following the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Each homes of the Democrat-controlled Legislature accepted a decision to start the method of passing the modification, which might broaden the state structure’s Equal Safety Amendment by banning discrimination based mostly on “pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.”

“This is a massive step forward for our state while others move backwards, and an important stance against the Supreme Court’s attacks on our rights,” Senate Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, stated in a press release.

The proposed modification, which might additionally protect gender expression rights, handed within the Senate on Friday by a 49-14 vote. The Meeting accepted it 98-43. Below the state’s modification course of, lawmakers must go it once more throughout subsequent yr’s session to ship it to voters in a statewide referendum.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, stated the measure would “protect reproductive health in New York for generations to come” and assuage the fears of residents involved about what would possibly occur subsequent on abortion on the federal stage.

“They’re scared, and they’re looking to us for leadership,” the Democratic governor stated at a press convention.

State regulation at present permits abortions as much as the twenty fourth week of being pregnant, however abortion rights supporters say they need a assure {that a} future legislature gained’t be capable to go extra abortion restrictions.

New York is taking a special method from California, the place voters will determine whether or not to amend their structure so as to add the “fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose and to obtain an abortion.”

However Katharine Bodde, New York Civil Liberties Union assistant coverage director, has stated New York’s method will maintain up higher in court docket and prohibit extra sorts of discrimination in opposition to pregnant individuals.

And New York can even add ethnicity, nationwide origin, age, incapacity, intercourse, sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression to the state’s Equal Safety Amendment. Proper now, the state structure at present prohibits discrimination based mostly on “race, color, creed or religion.”

Backers say the intent would even be to create authorized grounds for barring the federal government from trampling on transgender rights, amongst different issues.

Efforts so as to add constitutional protections in opposition to intercourse discrimination have failed for years in New York and elsewhere amid opposition from conservatives.

Hochul, a Democrat working for her first full time period as governor in November, has vowed in marketing campaign adverts to guard the fitting to abortion within the state structure.

New York’s modification would defend affirmative motion packages, and likewise clarify that its protections don’t intrude with, restrict or deny different individuals’s civil rights.

The leaders of an anti-abortion Catholic group have been urging lawmakers to oppose the modification, partly over issues that well being care employees who, for religions causes, don’t wish to present abortions or gender transition care.

Well being care employees with spiritual issues are already considerably protected below federal and state regulation, however Catholic Convention Government Director Dennis Poust stated these protections aren’t sufficient.

Kristen Curran, director of presidency relations for the New York State Catholic Convention, stated the state ought to give attention to serving to girls and households fairly than selling abortion.

“Unfortunately, this bill solidifies the message that New York has been sending women for some time now: Abortion is positive, empowering, and the key to success,” Curran stated in a press release. “This couldn’t be further from the truth.”

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