Senator Biaggi, together with the Senate Majority, passed historic legislation on Tuesday, January 22, that will protect New York women’s health rights. Passed on the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) codifies that decision into New York law and modernizes New York’s statutes to protect women’s rights. The Senate Majority also passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) that will ensure insurance companies cover FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products. Additionally, the Boss Bill that passed will prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on their reproductive health decisions. Senator Biaggi was a co-sponsor of all of three bills.
During her campaign, Biaggi was endorsed by Vote Pro Choice, Planned Parenthood NYC - Votes PAC, WCLA, Planned Parenthood Empire Votes PAC, National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, Eleanor’s Legacy, and NARAL, among others for her outspokenness on reproductive rights.
“For the last two years we have been facing major threats to women's rights, including but not limited to reproductive choice. And we have responded,” Senator Biaggi said. “It is no coincidence that 2018 was the year of the woman, with a record number of women running for and elected to office. It is no coincidence that our state reclaimed its Democratic majority with the most women ever elected in the legislature. It is no coincidence that by passing the Reproductive Health Act, Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, and the Boss Bill, we are setting in stone that we believe in women, their rights and abilities to make essential decisions for their bodies and their families. We are making sure that the law reflects our values. We are a country founded on freedom and committed to human rights. Without reproductive freedom and reproductive rights, we have neither.”
The historic legislation passed by Senator Biaggi and the Senate Democratic Majority includes:
● Reproductive Health Act: This bill, S.240, will modernize New York’s nearly 50-year-old statutes regarding abortion and ensure that New York State law treats abortion as health care, not a criminal act. Governor Cuomo signed it into law Tuesday.
● Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act: This bill, S.659-A, will require health insurance companies to include coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive options, as well as contraceptive counseling, and services, for women and men without co-pays, co-insurance
or deductibles. Emergency contraception will also be covered for those who are in need. Additionally, vasectomies and male condoms will be covered, appropriately, reminding us that reproductive healthcare is not simply a woman's burden. These are necessary tools for healthcare and no one should have to do without them because of cost.
● Boss Bill: This bill, S.660, will ensure that employees or their dependents are able to make their own reproductive health care decisions without incurring adverse employment consequences. No one should ever be penalized or fired by their employer because of personal choices about health care. Decisions about contraception and when or whether to have a child are fundamental to a woman’s right to choose. The Boss Bill protects New Yorkers from interference in these very personal decisions and gives them the tools to better plan their families and future.
“These bills are a big part of why I ran for office, and why I was elected. The fight for women’s rights will continue, and I will continue do my part to ensure that New York is actually a leader. I thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues for making this legislation a priority,” Senator Biaggi said.