New Bipartisan Pro-Choice Bloc Announces Leadership

Today, the newly-organized Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus (BPCLC) announced its new leadership team of four new co-chairs: Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro), and Senators Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers).

The BPCLC is a bloc of more than 75 members of the state legislature committed to advancing women's health and reproductive choice in New York. The caucus counts among its members representatives from both houses and both the Republican and Democratic parties. The BPCLC's priority in the 2012 legislative session is the Reproductive Health Act, A. 6112 / S. 2844.

New York, long considered a leader for decriminalizing abortion years ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, has actually failed to further codify protections for women's right to choose and other reproductive health matters in its public health law since then. The Reproductive Health Act would finally modernize New York's outdated laws in this area, including crucial protections for women's reproductive rights and health in the public health law and finally removing unenforceable, pre-Roe v. Wade provisions from the state penal code.

“Safeguarding the reproductive rights of women is an urgent priority, and I am honored to have been chosen to help lead the effort to defend these rights as Co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Pro-Choice Caucus," said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee. "As we've seen from the recent attacks on women's access to family planning services, it's absolutely critical that women have a voice at the highest levels of government, standing up for their health care rights, and the Bipartisan Pro-Choice Caucus plays a crucial role in this fight."

“It is important to me, as the mother of two daughters with three teenage granddaughters, to make sure all women have accessible and affordable health care,” said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. “The Bipartisan Pro-Choice Caucus works to raise awareness and support for a woman’s right to choose the health care that is right for her. I am honored to have been selected as a co-chair, and I will work hard to make sure women’s health care is not denied.”

“We have seen, in Congress and in state capitols across across the country, a systematic attempt to strip women of basic access to reproductive health services and their reproductive rights,” said Senator Liz Krueger. “The Bipartisan Pro-Choice Caucus is here to say, ‘No way. Not in New York.’ We will work together, on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of the Capitol, to ensure New York stops attempts to hamper women’s reproductive rights in their tracks and remains a national leader in promoting and protecting women's health.”

“The BPCLC represents a strong, unified and important voice for New York's women and I am pleased to have been entrusted by my colleagues, along with co-chairs Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffee and Teresa Sayward, to articulate and champion access to full reproductive health services in New York State,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “We have fought for these rights over generations, and New York has always been at the forefront of the movement. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the BPCLC to make sure New York continues to lead the way in the cause of protecting reproductive health rights.”

The New York State Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus is a bloc of more than 75 members of the state legislature committed to advancing women's health and reproductive choice in New York. Caucus co-chair Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins is the prime sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act (S. 2844 / A. 6112) in the State Senate, which is sponsored in the Assembly by caucus member Assemblymember Deborah Glick.