Equal Rights Amendment Passes Senate

The New York State Senate approved the second passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) giving New York voters the opportunity to extend the protected classifications under section 11 of the New York State Constitution. The current State Constitution equal rights amendment was adopted in 1938 and prohibits discrimination based on "race, color, creed, or religion." The ERA gives New York Voters the opportunity to add to that list ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

The legislative package will also advance new protections for people who seek abortion care and access to contraception, including the enactment of the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program which establishes a grant fund for abortion providers to improve access to abortion care; expand access to contraception by authorizing pharmacists to dispense self-administered hormonal birth control; expand legal protections for abortion providers by including reproductive health care as a protected health activity; and require hospitals to disclose to patients policy-based exclusions of care prior to their admission.

“Women’s rights and LGBTQI+ rights are under attack across the country, that is why it is essential that New York continues to lead the way in protecting reproductive health access and championing equality rights,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “On what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Senate Majority is delivering on the promise to pass for the second time the Equal Rights Amendment to ensure that New Yorkers get the opportunity to codify abortion in our state Constitution, and afford equal protection from discrimination to women, LGBTQI+ individuals and many more New Yorkers. I am also very pleased that this package includes the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program to establish a grant fund to improve access to abortion. We will continue to focus on protecting our reproductive rights and enhancing protections for our abortion providers while expanding access to the full gamut of reproductive health services. I commend the Chair of the Senate Women’s Issues Committee, Senator Lea Webb for her critical work on this issue, and I thank the bill sponsors for their ongoing efforts to protect reproductive freedom.”  

Read the Senate Majority Press Release

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Senators Involved

35th Senate District

28th Senate District

30th Senate District

11th Senate District

37th Senate District

41st Senate District