On January 19, 2013, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo revealed a ten-point plan to promote women’s equality that incorporated: protection for reproductive rights; protection against workplace discrimination; protection against domestic violence and human trafficking; and efforts to close the wage gap between men and women. However, legislators could not reach an agreement whether to implement the ten-point plan, primarily because of the first point which covers abortion. Time is running out for legislators to reach an agreement as to whether to implement some, all or none of the ten-point plan, as the legislative session ends June 20. Proponents of the first point claim that it would merely align New York state law with federal law on the issue of late-term abortions. New York allows late term abortions if the mother’s life is in danger or if the fetus is no longer viable outside of the womb, whereas federal law allows for a late-term abortion if the mother’s life or health is in danger.
Opponents of the proposal claim that this is an expansion of late-term abortion rights, and leaves the door open for further expansion of abortion rights in the future. Conversely, by supporting the proposal, proponents may be seeking to insulate abortion rights in New York out of fear that the Supreme Court will strike down its ruling in Roe v. Wade. Kelly Cummings, spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos, stated that they were confident that an agreement could be reached on the remaining nine points, which would still work to advance women’s equality in New York. Governor Cuomo claims that both political parties are responsible for stopping the bill and that constituents have a right to know their representatives’ stances on abortion rights.
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