Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal’s Contribution to Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ 13-Hour Filibuster – Go Wendy!

June 25, 2013

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) sent the following letter to Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, in support of her 13-hour filibuster to prevent legislation that would make it near-impossible for most Texas women to obtain safe and legal abortions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ June 25, 2013 Honorable Wendy Davis
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711 Dear Senator Davis: As a member of the New York State Assembly, I would like you to know that you are not alone as you stand before the Texas State Senate beating back attempts to roll back a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to make medical decisions in the absence of state interference. I am standing with you, as you stand up for women’s right to choose. The threat to women’s rights is coming from all across the country, but it must stop with us. Just last week, at the close of New York State’s 2013 legislative session, an omnibus 10-point bill that would have brought women’s rights in New York State into the 21st Century, failed because the Senate refused to allow a vote on legislation that would have merely updated New York State law by codifying the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. The Women’s Equality Act would have protected women against domestic violence at home and against sexual harassment in the work place. It would have guaranteed New York State women true pay equity and strengthened the law on human trafficking. It would have helped put an end to family-status, income-based and pregnancy-related discrimination against women. This bill would have changed the lives of countless women in New York State, yet it failed. With their refusal to vote on this groundbreaking piece of legislation, the Senate Majority have denied millions of women equal protection under the law. In our role as elected officials, it falls to us to protect the rights and freedoms of our constituents. There are few rights more precious than a woman’s right to make critical personal and medical decisions about her body and her future for herself, with the support and guidance of her family and her medical providers. In New York State, women in the State Assembly are being pressured to pass nine of the ten points of our Women’s Equality Agenda and forego updating our abortion law. The Texas experience serves as a reminder about how fragile a woman’s right to choose truly is. The Texas bill is about preventing women from obtaining safe and legal abortions by running abortion providers out of town. It would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges in local hospitals, but invariably, those hospitals have already been instructed to deny any requests. It would also require that abortion clinics conform to strict regulations for surgical centers knowing full well that the cost to confirm is far too great for these small clinics. And this is all in addition to a ban on any and all abortions after 20 weeks, regardless of whether that pregnancy is the result of incest or rape or if carrying the pregnancy to full term would jeopardize the life of the mother. As you stand to filibuster SB 5, which would essentially amount to a ban on nearly all abortions in Texas, know that you are standing for every woman in your district, in your state and across the country. Also know that each and every one of us is standing with you. Every state that is successful in beating back these attempts to restrict a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, sends a resounding message that we will not allow men to make decisions about our health and our bodies. Sincerely,
Linda B. Rosenthal
Member of Assembly – 67 AD