Senator Malcolm Smith Says New York Must Be Prepared To Defend A Woman's Right To Choose In Coming Assault On Roe V. Wade

Malcolm A. Smith

February 02, 2006

On the thirty-third anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision for women’s reproductive rights, Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) warned of the current challenge to these rights by national right-wing ideologues and the Bush administration and said New Yorkers must remain vigilant in the face of these attacks.

"In 1973 the Supreme Court wisely decided that women's health care decisions should be made by women and their doctors -- not by politicians," said Senator Smith. "Since then Roe v. Wade has saved many women from dangerous illegal abortions. Unfortunately, what should have become settled law is now again under assault."

Senator Smith noted that the United States Senate has confirmed two activist, right-wing appointments to the Supreme Court in less than a year. "There is no question that the appointments of Justice Roberts and Justice Alito could undermine the constitutional rights protected by Roe v. Wade. The danger of chipping away at the principles of a woman’s right to choose, both in federal and state courts, is very real and must be challenged at every level."

"That’s why it is essential for those of us who believe in women's rights to defend the principles of Roe v. Wade. This is especially true for those of us in the State Legislature, which will be women’s last line of defense if the Supreme Court abandons the principle that women have an inherent right to control their own bodies."

Senator Smith said the State Senate's Democratic Conference will continue to support women's right to choose, and work with advocacy groups to ensure that women in New York have access to safe and effective emergency contraception.

"What we must remember as we reflect on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, is that there are forces in America working night and day to dismantle this precedent. We must never underestimate their determination and remain ready to work through the legislature and courts to defend this freedom," concluded Senator Smith.