FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/10/2021
SENATOR ROXANNE J. PERSAUD AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER MICHAELLE C. SOLAGES PASS NEW MEASURE PROMOTING WOMEN'S SAFETY, DIGNITY AND BODILY AUTONOMY IN MEDICAL SETTINGS
(ALBANY, NY) - In the final days of the 2021 Legislative Session, Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (19th SD) and Assembly Member Michaelle C. Solages (22nd AD) passed legislation that will require the NYS Department of Health, in consultation with women's health and other medical professionals, to develop an informational pamphlet to be provided to all women undergoing or recommended for a pelvic examination. Such a pamphlet will clearly explain what women can expect during the procedure and the protocol to be followed by the administering medical professional. This legislation was passed as a supplement to a 2019 New York State Law championed by Senator Persaud and Assembly Member Solages that banned non-consensual pelvic examinations.
“Women should not have to undergo such an important exam without a complete understanding of what it entails,” said bill sponsor Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “With this legislation, we are one step closer to improving patient and provider relationships as well as the healthcare disparities that women face.”
“While pelvic examinations occur regularly, there is minimal information provided to the patients undergoing these exams”, stated Assembly Member Michaelle C. Solages. “Empowering individuals with this knowledge will only help to improve their experience. This bill, similar to the legislation we passed on non-consensual pelvic exams the previous session, is consistent with our efforts to ensure that every interaction between a patient and their provider meets the highest ethical standards.”
"Patients should know exactly what any health care practitioner plans to do with their bodies, whether it's an invasive surgery or a routine examination", said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried. "This legislation will enable patients to have more informed discussions with their providers before undergoing a sensitive procedure."
“Many New Yorkers lack access to reproductive healthcare education. By providing detailed and accessible information on pelvic exams, individuals are empowered to make their own informed decisions regarding their care”, said Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation, and I applaud Senator Persaud and Assemblymember Solages for championing this issue.”
"We must continue to improve access to information for women's health. Through this legislation, we empower individuals with education. This is a crucial initial step in creating more awareness around this sensitive procedure," said Senator Jeremy Cooney.
“It is imperative that patients know what to expect when they see their doctor, especially when receiving pelvic exams,” said Senator Samra Brouk. “By providing information in a simple pamphlet, we are ensuring patients can set their expectations about proper exam procedures and are empowered to recognize and report wrongdoing. Enacting this legislation will help women statewide and I am thankful this bill has passed both houses of the legislature.”
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