June 7, 2016

Assembly Passes Legislation
to Protect Women's Reproductive Rights

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee today announced the passage of legislation that would secure the right for women in New York State to access reproductive services they choose and ensure that they are protected against any workplace discrimination based on their reproductive decisions.

"New York has always been a progressive leader for women's reproductive rights" said Speaker Heastie. "While some states are trying to eliminate those rights and create obstacles to women obtaining the care they need, the Assembly remains committed to making sure these types of injustice do not happen in New York."

The first bill codifies the alignment of State law with existing federal law that was established by Roe v. Wade, which held that the United States Constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion (A.6221, Glick).

"Roe v. Wade was a landmark Supreme Court case that established a fundamental reproductive right for women in this country," said Assemblymember Glick, sponsor of the bill. "That right has been challenged countless times in different states across the country and even in the Supreme Court, which is why we must codify this protection and ensure that women in New York will never have their reproductive rights infringed upon."

The second bill passed by the Assembly would prevent employers from discriminating against employees or an employee's dependent based on reproductive health choice (A.1142, Jaffee). Although federal and state laws are committed to protecting workers against employment discrimination, loopholes exist that leave employees vulnerable to employment discrimination based on their reproductive choices.

"Reproductive health choices are a very personal matter," said Assemblymember Jaffee, sponsor of the bill. "If health confidentiality was compromised, no one should have to fear discrimination, retaliation or potentially losing a job because of a personal private choice."

Kim Atkins, board president, Family Planning Advocates of New York said, "Today's passage of legislation critical to women's autonomy, the Boss Bill and the Reproductive Services Act, again sends the clear message that our state Assembly stands up for New Yorkers. While other states have seen politicians attack reproductive health care in an effort to erode access and dictate women's lives, our Assembly continues to move forward towards full equity and equality for everyone, both at home and in the work place. We thank Speaker Heastie for recognizing that access to comprehensive reproductive health care is fundamental to the health and well-being of us all and our ability to achieve educational, economic and family goals. We look to the Senate Majority to follow the path set by the Assembly and pass this much needed legislation."