There are only 8 days left of session for the NY State Senate this spring, with too many important bills being ignored. One of the most crucial is the importance of passing the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act by the end of session. The bill would guarantee the right of future generations of New York women to make safe and private reproductive health decisions.
To no surprise, the bill (S5829) has come under fire from right wing anti-choice groups. Senator Krueger denounced the attacks and stated, "The opposition is trying to shape this debate through misinformation and scare tactics. The fact is that this bill will ensure the protections guaranteed through Roe v. Wade and provide women with the security they need in making their health care decisions."
In 1970 New York proved to be a trail blazing state for women's health issues by amending its penal code to decriminalize abortions. Three years later Roe v. Wade cemented a woman's right to make private medical decisions. However, New York's law was never updated to recognize abortion as a part of public health law and it remains under the jurisdiction of criminal law. This historic dilemma, coupled with the recent Supreme Court limitations on abortion, leaves the door open for some in New York to attempt to prosecute doctors who perform abortions as well as the women who have them.
"Allowing antiquated laws to remain on the books which allow for the policing of abortion as a criminal matter only serves to jeopardize the health and safety of the women of New York State. We cannot permit the possibility of forcing women back to a time of dangerous and deadly alternatives to safe medical options," stated Senator Krueger.
By making abortion procedures part of our public health law, this bill will also ensure the highest and safest standards for women making an important life decision. New York will be able to regulate the procedure as part of standardized women's health care without imposing arbitrary regulations. Duly licensed health care providers, in consultation with patients, will be allowed to make informed decisions based on what is right for the woman's health instead of in fear of criminal prosecution. Health care providers will also have to comply with all laws that govern scope of practice, which dictates that they only perform procedures for which they are trained, qualified, and licensed to do.
"A woman's right to choose is a private matter of heath and safety," concluded Senator Krueger. "As the federal government and other states continue to undermine Roe v. Wade, New York State must continue it's historic leadership in women's health by passing the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act to guarantee a safe future for our mothers, sisters, and daughters."