Pledges Not to Pass Budget Until Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act Are Passed
Will Advance Legislation Supporting Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act
Part of Governor's 2019 Justice Agenda
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today vowed to codify the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade into New York State Law upon the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, de-criminalizing women's access to abortions and protecting the doctors who perform them once and for all. Earlier today, the Governor rallied for the passage of the RHA, vowing to pass the bill within the first 30 days of the legislative session alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and bill sponsors Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Deborah Glick. The passage of the RHA is part of the Governor's 2019 Justice Agenda for the first 100 days of the legislative session, outlined in December.
In addition, the Governor announced that he will advance legislation supporting the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, which would make regulations enacted by Governor Cuomo through Executive Order in 2018 permanent. This legislation would codify the requirement under the federal Affordable Care Act that health insurers much provide free contraceptive coverage in their policies into New York State law. The Governor pledged to not pass the budget until both the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act are passed.
"In this tumultuous time, it is critical that we codify the Roe v. Wade decision into state law, and to take it a step further, we will fight to pass a constitutional amendment that writes into the Constitution a provision protecting a woman's right to protect her own reproductive health," Governor Cuomo said. "We will pass it, put it on the ballot, we will write it into the Constitution and we will be able to say we have protected women's rights in a way no one has before."
"As keepers of the torch for women's rights that was first ignited in our home state back in 1848, we have a moral responsibility to continue this fight today," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "That is what this next session will accomplish - enshrine into law long overdue protections. With the anniversary of Roe v. Wade later this month, we will finally codify Roe v. Wade into state law during a time when women's rights are being threatened by the federal government."
Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, said, "Women across the country are facing an unprecedented attack on their healthcare and it is more important than ever to have a leader who is not afraid to stand up to Washington. Governor Cuomo has done more to advance women's rights than any other in the nation and his plan to codify Roe v. Wade into New York State Constitution will help protect women's healthcare in this state once and for all, ensuring our basic rights are not chipped away at. Under the Governor's leadership, New York has set an example for the rest of the nation to follow and as part of the 2019 Justice Agenda we will continue leading this fight."
Throughout his administration, Governor Cuomo has staunchly supported codifying Roe v. Wade into state law. In 2018, upon the Supreme Court's swing to a conservative majority, the Governor called on the Senate to return to Albany to pass this legislation, preserving New York's progressive values and defending against the Trump Administration's continued assaults on women's rights. For the past six years, the Governor has consistently called on the Senate to pass legislation codifying these protections into the state constitution, as it has easily passed through the Assembly each of these years.
In August 2018, Governor Cuomo launched a public awareness campaign that served to connect women to comprehensive and confidential reproductive health services. The campaign was in direct response to alarming reports of Crisis Pregnancy Centers misrepresenting themselves as health centers in order to dissuade women seeking abortion from going through with the decision. The Governor's campaign featured ads with clear, factual information in multiple languages to better inform women across the state of their reproductive health options.