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Women’s Rights Need Protection

This year the Republican majority in the State Senate, for the second year in a row, failed to join the Assembly in passing the Women’s Equality Act (WEA). The WEA is a common-sense 10-point proposal introduced by Governor Cuomo that would, among other things, strengthen human trafficking laws, eliminate the gender pay gap, and protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. 

 

That last provision is especially important in light of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow companies to deny women access to quality healthcare based on the beliefs of their employers. The Hobby Lobby ruling is yet another example of a countrywide campaign led by GOP extremists to take a woman’s healthcare decisions out of her own hands.

 

The Women’s Equality Act would protect a woman’s right to choose simply by codifying Roe v. Wade into New York State Law. Those who oppose this measure argue that it is unnecessary and

redundant, but to them I say it is a crucial measure of protection as women’s rights are under constant assault on a national level. That is why I find it especially offensive that Senator Jack Martins and his Republican colleagues in the Senate blocked the WEA from even coming to a vote, killing any chance it had of passing.

 

It is unconscionable to me that public officials in New York, in the year 2014, would fail to acknowledge and take steps against the war on women that plagues our country. New York has been a leader in the women’s rights movement since the Seneca Falls Convention, and we owe it to our history to lead the way on women’s equality.  

 

The women of New York deserve pay equity, they deserve sexual harassment protections, and they deserve laws preventing discrimination based on gender, but most importantly, they deserve to know that they are protected here at home from the GOP extremists elsewhere in our country seeking to walk back the hard-won steps we have made towards women’s equality. 

 

In 1970, 12 New York Republican state Senators voted to grant a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices. Today, Jack Martins and his extremist GOP colleagues will not allow a simple measure establishing a woman’s basic right to choose to come to a vote. I am running for State Senate because I believe those who deny the progress we have made as a state and a nation on women’s rights should not represent New Yorkers in government. I am an unequivocal supporter of the full Women’s Equality Act, and I will always fight for women’s rights.