June 10, 2013 — A bill proposed last week by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to broaden women's rights -- including abortion rights -- "deserves the support of every lawmaker who is ready to do more than talk about equal rights and increased protections for women," according to a New York Times editorial.
The legislation "would provide assurance that abortions would remain safe and legal in New York even if the United States Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade," the editorial states.
The editorial adds that the bill would "strengthen wage protections, prohibit employers from discriminating against women with children, and provide more safeguards from housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence or female heads of household on welfare," as well as "increase penalties for human trafficking and expand the state's sexual harassment law to include all workplaces."
State Senate leader Dean Skelos (R) has said he will not allow the bill's abortion provision to reach the floor for a vote. State Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D), who shares leadership of the chamber, has indicated that despite his support for abortion rights, he could carve out those provisions before a floor vote.
"That is pure legislative cowardice," the editorial states, noting that "polls show that even in Republican areas almost two-third of women want the option to choose a safe and legal abortion, but the leaders apparently don't want to risk making anyone unhappy" (New York Times, 6/9).