Family Planning Advocates commends Governor on Women’s Equality Act, urges legislative leaders to partner with him in passing this historic legislation

(ALBANY, NY Jan. 9, 2013) Family Planning Advocates of New York State (FPA) today commends Governor Cuomo for his newly proposed Women’s Equality Act proposed in his State of the State address and his ongoing commitment to advancing reproductive health care policy.

“Today we again heard from the Governor that women’s health care is one of his top priorities, now it is time for lawmakers to stand strong for the women of New York by making the Women’s Equality Act law,” said Family Planning Advocates of New York State President and CEO M. Tracey Brooks.

During the 2012 elections, voters were loud and clear about the value they place on comprehensive reproductive health care access. “The New York State Legislature should respond to that call and partner with the Governor to position New York, once again, as a national leader in women’s health care access by passing this bill,” Brooks continued.

“Even Congress, which was so hostile toward women’s health for the past two years, voted in the lame-duck session to expand abortion access for women through the Shaheen Amendment. The New York State Legislature, which has a tradition of standing up for women and women’s health, should follow their lead by seizing the opportunity the Governor has presented and making the Women’s Equality Act law.”

FPA is pleased to see that the Reproductive Health Act is one of the ten points in the Governor’s newly announced Women’s Equality Act. Seven out of 10 New York voters—across religious and party lines—want the Reproductive Health Act to become law, and support has remained consistently strong in polls from 2008 through the present.

The Reproductive Health Act fixes a troubling gap in New York’s public health law. A woman can experience serious health complications at any point during pregnancy. “This is a tragic situation, often meaning she has to choose between protecting her health or continuing with a very wanted but risky pregnancy,” Brooks said. Current New York law compounds that tragedy when it happens later in pregnancy by making it a potential crime to provide an abortion to protect her health. The Reproductive Health Act ensures she can get the safe, legal abortion care she needs.

Family Planning Advocates of New York State (FPA) is a non-profit, statewide organization dedicated to protecting and expanding access to a full range of reproductive health care services. FPA represents New York’s Planned Parenthood affiliates and other family planning centers, as well as hundreds of organizations and thousands of individual members.