Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-Brooklyn) announced that he helped pass two critical pieces of legislation to strengthen and protect womens reproductive rights. The measures affirm a womans right to an abortion in New York State (A.1748) and require insurers to continue covering contraception at no cost to the consumer (A.1378).
From coast to coast, women are fighting for their reproductive freedom, pushing back against what seems to be never-ending attacks on their rights, Assemblymember Carroll said. Over and over, we hear politicians arguing about whats best for women, as if its their decision to make. Let me be clear: A woman and her doctor know whats best for her health not the government and not an insurance company.
There are 31 states with laws and regulations in place that put obstacles in the way of women obtaining access to abortions. In 2016 alone, 14 states passed new laws to further restrict this constitutional right. And now, less than a month into 2017, at least 46 anti-choice bills have been introduced or are pending in state legislatures across the country. Its been nearly 44 years since the U.S. Supreme Courts landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, and yet the threat to womens reproductive rights is as alarming and real as ever. With an anti-choice president about to take office with a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, the time to fight back is now, said Assemblymember Carroll.
The Assembly Majority has shown a steadfast commitment to ensuring New York is a place where a womans constitutionally guaranteed right to choose is safeguarded and valued. Yesterday, legislation was passed by the Assembly to protect a womans right to terminate a pregnancy within 24 weeks, or when the pregnancy is not viable, or endangers her life or health (A.1748). The legislation emphasizes that the goal of medical laws and regulations should be to improve the quality and availability of health care, not to place undue burdens on patients and providers.
The second piece of Assembly legislation, the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, requires health insurers to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products when they are prescribed by a health care provider (A.1378). The legislation, though, leaves in place existing state law that allows religious employers to request an insurance policy that does not cover contraceptive methods. Further, the measure ensures coverage for emergency contraception, voluntary sterilization, patient education and counseling and all related follow-up care. Insurance companies are prohibited from charging co-pays, co-insurance payments and deductibles for contraception and are barred from imposing any restrictions or delays with respect to such coverage.
A hallmark of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the requirement that insurance providers cover contraception and preventive services at no cost to the consumer. But with the ACA in peril, its time New York takes action to ensure this vital coverage doesnt disappear for the countless women and men who depend on it, noted Assemblymember Carroll.
Not only is the right to choose under attack this battle for equality stretches much further than that. Planned Parenthood is under attack, basic health care is under attack, our futures are under attack, and I refuse to sit back and do nothing, Assemblymember Carroll said. Its up to New York State to be a leader and stand up for reproductive freedom. We cant allow the progress weve made in the fight for full womens equality to be undone not now, not ever.