The State Legislature has passed a resolution to enshrine equal rights into the New York State Constitution, which will solidify the right to abortion access in New York State.
The resolution was brought forward by Governor Kathy Hochul as part of an extraordinary session of the legislature that she called to deal with decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with gun laws and the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
If enacted, the amendment will add ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy to existing protections that currently cover discrimination based on race, color, religion or creed.
State Senator George Borrello was critical of the resolution, saying abortion rights are already codified in state law under the Reproductive Health Act passed in 2019, and that “This will potentially force Catholic hospitals and other religiously affiliated organizations to provide abortions and other services that violate their beliefs.”
The resolution will need to pass again in the next legislative session before going to the voters for ultimate approval.