Senate leader says New York will bolster abortion rights before session ends

Legislative Gazette photo by Timothy Divelbiss
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Tuesday the Senate would contnue to pass new laws aimed at bolstering abortion rights and women’s health care in New York state.

Hours after a Supreme Court opinion striking down Roe v. Wade was leaked to the news media, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins pledged that New York would continue to be a safe haven for women seeking an abortion.   

Outside her office on the third floor of the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon, the majority leader expressed her disdain for the possibility of this opinion being reversed nearly 50 years of federal abortion protections. 

“It is an outrage that the Supreme Court is poised to reverse the rights of women,” Stewart-Cousins said. “This is taking back rights that have been constitutional since 1973.”

Stewart-Cousins noted the importance of state and local government if reproductive care is reduced to state-level control. 

“We are the last line of defense as the state legislatures,” Stewart-Cousins said. “New York is in a unique position to be leaders in protecting reproductive care.” 

She added that New York is, and will continue to be, an abortion sanctuary state for women. 

“We will be a place where women and families can get the reproductive healthcare they need,” said the majority leader. “We will push to make sure these rights are protected and funded.” 

On Monday, a draft opinion apparently written by Justice Samuel Alito and justifying a reversal of Roe v. Wade, was leaked to Politico. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Tuesday it was a legitimate draft opinion, but not the offical court opinion, which was expected to be released in June.

Stewart-Cousins stressed the need for safe and clean abortions being accessible all across the country. 

“Women have died because of not providing the great care our nation can provide,” said Senator Stewart-Cousins.

The majority leader closed her press conference by letting New York women know that their rights will be safeguarded. 

“We will not leave session without protecting the rights of women,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We will push to make sure these rights are protected and funded.”