As New York State marks the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage and we commemorate Women's History Month, it is only fitting that we reflect on the struggles of our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and ancestors and continue to build on their legacies.
This month, I wrote to Governor Cuomo to urge him to put his weight behind the Reproductive Health Act (S2796/A1748) and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (S3668/A1378). I am proud to co-sponsor these two important pieces of legislation that would immediately and permanently secure women’s access to healthcare and codify Roe v. Wade in New York State, not withstanding changes in federal administrations.
Access to healthcare is vital to all of our constituents, many of whom work every single day and still struggle to cover premiums, co-payments and deductibles. But when this access is threatened, it is women who bear the burden most. We are fortunate to have organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide women with services regardless of their ability to pay. However, women should not be placed in a position where something as simple as contraception is out of reach.
In 2017, women’s access to healthcare should not be a hot button issue, it should be a fundamental right. Having agency over our bodies is more than empowering; it is necessary. As elected officials, it is our responsibility to ensure that women have the legal right to make their own healthcare decisions. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in a time where we have to fight just to keep from going backwards; but this also creates an opportunity to engage women and the men who support us in the political process on this issue and so many others.
To read my letter to the Governor, please download the attached PDF. I hope you will join me in the fight to protect access to healthcare for women throughout our state and our nation.