Assemblymember McMahon Passes Legislation to Strengthen Women’s Rights

Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) announced that she helped pass legislation to strengthen and protect reproductive rights in New York. The measures would ensure access to contraception, affirm a woman’s right to choose and prohibit discrimination based on reproductive health decisions.

“New York has long been a leader in advancing women’s rights, and this legislation represents our renewed commitment to the idea that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect,” McMahon said. “I firmly believe that women’s rights are human rights and I’ll continue to fight until we have full equality for all women.”

McMahon co-sponsored and helped pass the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, which would require health insurers to provide cost-free coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives when they are prescribed by a health care provider (A.585-A). Access to contraception has been shown to decrease the number of unplanned pregnancies, improve women’s health and financial security and lower rates of maternal and infant mortality.[1]

She also co-sponsored and helped pass legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their reproductive health care decisions (A.584). In addition, the measure bars employers from accessing private medical information about their employees without the employee’s prior, written consent.

To further strengthen women’s rights in New York, McMahon helped pass the Reproductive Health Act, which codifies the federal protections of Roe v. Wade into state law (A.21). As an attorney and a former federal law clerk, McMahon is fiercely devoted to upholding the law and ensuring women’s constitutional rights are in no way hindered.

“Today we take a major step forward to protect the rights of the women of New York. With a Supreme Court majority that is determined to overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade, we must update our laws to ensure women continue to be protected in New York,” McMahon said. “With this new law, the right to reproductive choice has been strengthened for all women in New York.”