Albany, NY - Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) yesterday helped pass an Assembly resolution she co-sponsored to proclaim the week of Jan. 22-28, 2012 as “Reproductive Rights and Justice Week.” The purpose of the resolution is to increase public awareness, discussion and support for reproductive rights and justice (K.828).
“It is our responsibility to ensure that women are guaranteed access to quality family planning services, so that they can make educated decisions about their health and future,” Jaffee said. “The Assembly’s resolution highlights the fundamental right of a woman to make private medical decisions concerning her reproductive health. With reproductive rights under attack in many areas of the country, this resolution is a reminder that New York State is a proud, progressive state that stands up for the rights of its citizens.”
There is a direct link between access to family-planning services and declines in maternal and infant mortality rates, Jaffee pointed out. A woman who intends to conceive a child is far more likely to seek proper medical care during her pregnancy, thus improving her own health and that of her child.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver applauded Jaffee’s efforts to pass this resolution. “I commend Assemblymembers Glick and Jaffee, and my other colleagues in the Assembly Majority for their commitment to assuring that reproductive health services are accessible and available in our communities,” Silver said. “At a time when so much hostility is being directed at reproductive rights, the Assembly Majority will continue to stand up for women.”
“The United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies among developed nations, and it is critical that we address the root of this problem,” Jaffee added. “By granting women access to health care, contraception and comprehensive sexual education, they can make informed, knowledgeable choices regarding their reproductive health.”
In addition to helping women plan and prevent pregnancies, contraception can reduce the risk of certain cancers, ectopic pregnancy, anemia, osteoporosis, ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease, Jaffee noted.