The Democratic candidate in New York’s 60th State Senate District is calling on her opponent and his fellow Republican legislators to pass a bill codifying the protections regarding women’s rights to abortion in Roe v. Wade.
The Reproductive Health Act remained in the Senate Health Committee when session came to a close in June. However, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services on Thursday to require health insurers to cover emergency contraception, over-the-counter and 12-month contraception at non-cost to the recipient.
At the same time, he called on the Senate to reconvene and pass the legislation, of which the Assembly has passed in various forms each of the last six years. Candidate Carima El-Behairy called out her opponent Chris Jacobs specifically because he is a member of the Health Committee.
“We must eliminate restrictions that would criminalize women who suffer a miscarriage at home, protect the rights of women to access safe and legal abortion, and protect the medical professionals providing access to women’s reproductive care,” she said. “According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), seven out of ten New Yorkers across political and religious lines support the Reproductive Health Act, which respects women’s right to control their own bodies and make choices that are best for them and their families. And yet Chris Jacobs, the current District 60 Senator, voted with the Republican majority against releasing this bill from the Senate Health Committee to the floor for a vote.”
Democrats are leading a concerted effort again in response to the nomination of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Supreme Court. They are concerned the court could move to overturn the 45 year old Roe V. Wade decision.
“New York State has the opportunity to protect a woman’s right to choose,” El-Behairy said. “In the event Roe is overturned, the passage of the Reproductive Health Act would ensure that a woman in New York is able to choose the best course of action regarding her personal healthcare decisions, including electing to have a child or to end a pregnancy.”
Jacobs did not immediately respond to our request for comment.