“In 1973, Roe v. Wade affirmed that a woman has a constitutional right over the autonomy of her body. In the words of the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, “an entire generation has come of age free to assume Roe’s concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions is law.” Despite the overwhelming support for a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, last year, six radical Supreme Court justices decided to overturn precedent and defy the will of the American people.
“Not only did the Supreme Court show their callousness in overturning Roe, in his concurring decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” past rulings on same-sex marriage and contraception. This shows that Justice Thomas and the other conservative Justices on the Supreme Court are hellbent on taking our country backward.
“In response to this, my colleagues and I passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for the first time in July of last year. The ERA builds on existing state constitutional protections to prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. It would also protect against any government action that attacks a women’s right to choose. To add an amendment like the ERA to the New York State Constitution, it must be passed by two successive legislatures to appear on the ballot in November 2024.
“Today, I proudly supported the ERA a second time to make it perfectly clear that I will not allow New Yorkers to have their fundamental rights stripped away. At a time when other states are passing radical laws to limit the rights of citizens, it is essential that New York takes this vital step forward to show that no matter whom you love, how you express yourself, or where you are from, you are protected.