Through a leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, we have learned that the court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees federal protections of abortion rights for women.
New York State passed The Reproductive Health Act in 2019, which guaranteed that abortion would remain legal in New York even if the court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. At the time, myself and other lawmakers in Albany who worked on and argued for this legislation cited that possibility as a motivation for the law. In an extremely dark time for America, our New York State law has proven to be 100% necessary.
The SCOTUS ruling is appalling for many reasons. It is devastating for the reputation and future of the Supreme Court, which is supposed to be non-political. It is devastating for our democracy, as we have a decision that is against the beliefs of the majority of Americans. Most acutely though, it is devastating for women.
This ruling won’t curb the need for abortion care. It will, however, make it much more difficult, costly, and dangerous to obtain one. Sadly, people who will bear the brunt of the horrific effects of this decision are communities of color, low-income communities, and youth. There is no other way to say it – women across the country will now die because of this unconscionable ruling.
For years anti-abortion states and anti-choice politicians have tried to chip away at Roe v. Wade and abortion rights for women. For years they have sought to shut clinic doors and make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to access the reproductive health care they seek. Now we are seeing what an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court will do.
It is not “pro-life” (as anti-choice advocates like to call themselves) to strip reproductive healthcare away from millions of women. What is pro-life is supporting women in making decisions about their own bodies and helping them have access to the health care they need.
I have witnessed firsthand the damage that overturning Roe v. Wade would do. When I was a teenager in Brooklyn, I had friends and classmates whose lives were changed forever due to lack of abortion access. Since that time, practically my entire teenage and adult lifetime, I have fought to protect women, their right to privacy, and their right to control their bodies and lives.
I plan on doing everything I can, both in Albany and personally, to protect women’s right to choose in New York and ensure that all women have the right to safe and legal abortion.