(Washington, D.C.) - On Thursday, June 15th, State Senator Shelley B. Mayer traveled to Washington D.C. to join the White House State Legislative Convening on Reproductive Rights. Approaching the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, the White House hosted more than 80 state legislators from 41 states to discuss the rollbacks to reproductive rights and state efforts to safeguard access to reproductive health care.
Senator Mayer joined as a speaker on a panel called Protecting Providers and Patients, moderated by Elisabeth Smith, Director of State Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, alongside Connecticut State Representative Matt Blumenthal (D - Stamford), Colorado State Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, (D - Longmont), and Illinois Representative Kelly Cassidy (D - Chicago) which highlighted legislation their states have passed, with their leadership, to protect providers and patients.
Senator Mayer discussed her legislation S.1066B/A.1709B, which provides explicit protections for doctors, medical providers, and facilitators serving patients outside New York State seeking medication abortion and reproductive health services via telehealth.
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am proud and honored to have the opportunity to speak at the White House as part of the Legislative Convening of Reproductive Rights. As the New York State Assembly returns to Albany next week, I am eager for A.1709B to pass in the Assembly, sponsored by my colleague Assemblywoman Karines Reyes, RN. New York has vowed to stand up for the right of women everywhere to control their reproductive future, and it is pivotal that we pass this legislation to ensure New York does its part in providing women across the country access to the healthcare they deserve.
“In the wake of the Dobbs decision, it is vital that states lean on each other for help, inspiration, and guidance as we fight the threats and restrictions on abortion spreading across the country. I want to thank our moderator Elisabeth Smith for her insightful questions. I also would like to thank my fellow panelists, Representative Blumenthal, Senator Jaquez Lewis, and Representative Cassidy; as well as the many other state leaders who joined us in Washington, for sharing your insight and your work. It was empowering and informative to join a group of state legislators who share the same goal.
“I also would like to thank our New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for her leadership on this critical matter. I am eager to see A.1709B pass in the Assembly next week and be signed into law by Governor Hochul.”
Representative Blumenthal led Connecticut to be the first state to enact an interstate shield law. The Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, signed into Connecticut law in 2022, expands access to abortion in Connecticut and legally protects medical providers and patients traveling to Connecticut seeking care.
Representative Cassidy led the effort to pass the Patient and Provider Protection Act of Illinois, which reinforces protections for Illinois health care providers and patients who travel to Illinois for abortion access. Representative Cassidy also led the initiative to expedite temporary Illinois licenses for providers from other states.
Senator Jacquez Lewis enacted a package of reproductive rights legislation, including shield laws. Colorado also prohibited deceptive advertising in health care centers and can hold crisis pregnancy centers liable for deceptive advertising.