Women’s health advocates say the state Senate’s failure to pass the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act and the Reproductive Heath Act is a “deeply concerning.”
With abortion rights and contraception coverage facing serious political challenges at the federal level, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts is vowing to fight for those two bills in Senate districts statewide and in Albany.
“There is only one obstacle standing in the way of these bills coming to the floor and that is the Senate Majority leadership,” said Robin Chappelle Golston, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts. “Their refusal to act in the face of these federal attacks is shameful and shows that they would rather play politics with women’s health than protect it.”
The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (S.3668/A.1378) and the Reproductive Health Act (S.2796/A.1748) would have changed state laws to protect various aspects of women’s health, acting as a safeguard against the ongoing federal attempts to sharply restrict reproductive health care.
The Contraception Coverage Act aimed to protect New Yorkers’ access to affordable contraception through health insurance, while the Reproductive Health Act would codify the protections of Roe v. Wade under state law.
Earlier this year, both bills swiftly passed the Assembly with majority votes. Later on in May, more than 50,000 people signed a petition urging the passage of these bills which was delivered to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. Despite the efforts by supporters and the Senate bill sponsors — John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope and Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan — the Senate ultimately failed to act on them this session.
What this means for the future of reproductive health care in New York is unclear. With the looming prospect of a new health care plan and the repeal of Obamacare put forth by the Trump administration, the progress made by New York State in the last several decades concerning affordable contraception and reproductive health rights faces the threat of being squashed.
Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts made it clear last week that it is not done fighting to ensure the safety of women’s health care in New York, despite the Senate’s failure to pass these bills.
“It is unacceptable that a state like New York is unable to pass such practical legislation that is not only needed, but also heavily supported by voters,” said Chappelle Golston.
Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts has promised to continue demonstrating to the Senate the breadth and depth of support for these failed bills, both in Senate districts statewide and in Albany.