January 22, 2018

Speaker Heastie and Assemblymembers Recognize The 45th Anniversary of Landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision

Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie:

"Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Three years before the landmark Supreme Court Roe vs Wade decision, New York became the first state in the nation to pass legislation protecting and recognizing the reproductive rights of women. Since then, the Assembly has fought tirelessly to protect this sacred constitutional freedom for every woman in New York.

This historic decision empowered women and brought us one giant step closer to achieving equality for women. This decision did not simply guarantee women the right to reproductive choice - it gave them full autonomy over their bodies and greater control of their future.

While many other states continue to pass legislation to limit a woman's access to reproductive health care, for years, the New York State Assembly has passed the Reproductive Health Act to update New York State law to reflect the protections recognized by the courts under the New York State Constitution and the United States Constitution. Attacks from Washington make it more important than ever that we codify Roe v. Wade into law here in New York to guarantee this fundamental right, and we look forward to bringing up this important legislation later this session."

Statement from Assemblymember Deborah Glick, sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act:

"Forty-five years ago the United States Supreme Court affirmed that women have an absolute right to privacy over matters concerning their health and reproductive choices. As we mark yet another year since this landmark decision, too many women are still denied the legal right to chart their own reproductive destiny. We must never forget that at the root of this struggle is a woman's power over her body and her life. Here in New York we will continue to stand our ground and protect women's rights at all costs."

Statement from Assemblymember Nily Rozic, chair of the Task Force on Women's Issues:

"This Supreme Court decision gave women the right to choose and, in turn, has afforded women the freedom to advance their education, pursue meaningful careers and achieve greater financial security for themselves and for their families. In the mission to achieve true gender equality, this decision represents an essential constitutional freedom for women that this house continues to fight for here in New York." Statement from Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, chair of the Women's Legislative Caucus:

"Here in New York we have worked hard to ensure that we are empowering individuals and families to lead productive and independent lives. It is impossible to champion that goal without recognizing the importance of reproductive choice. For forty-five years, Roe v. Wade has enshrined the right to privacy for women and families to make the decisions that are best for them. We owe it to future generations to continue to defend these freedoms and ensure that the course of their lives will be determined by those affected and not by the whims and motivations of strangers in government."

Statement from Assemblymember Maritza Davila, co-chair of the Women of Color Subcommittee, NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus:

"While the administration in Washington continues to attack women's health care and reproductive rights, this body will commemorate the significance of this Supreme Court decision and fight to protect this precious freedom for the women of New York. We will continue this state's legacy of protecting women's rights and enacting progressive policies that put women - and all of New York - on the path to success."

Statement from Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, co-chair of the Women of Color Subcommittee, NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus:

"This milestone decision represented a turning point for women's reproductive health care, especially for women of color. In addition to providing women access to safer reproductive care options, the decision recognized the importance of women making these critical decisions for themselves. In New York, we recognize that safeguarding this right is paramount to securing the best possible future for women and girls everywhere."