Win 9x

Women’s Equality Act quietly becomes a reality in New York state

Damon Winter/The New York Times

New York state lawmakers passed nine out of 10 bills in Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act — an important victory for women’s rights, which no one seems to be talking about as New York Magazine points out. The package was first introduced by Cuomo in January 2013, but failed to pass. Cuomo then decided to make  his 10-point legislative plan a key element in his 2014 reelection campaign. The plan was ambitious and impressive in scope. It included such initiatives as strengthening equal pay laws, outlawing discrimination against parents and pregnant women in the workplace, increasing protections for victims of domestic violence, strengthening laws against human trafficking, and safeguarding reproductive health by codifying Roe v. Wade into New York State law. This last abortion bill included in the act, however, became a stumbling block for Senate Republicans. The bill would ensure that women can get an abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy, or when a mother’s life or health is in danger, as well as protect physicians who offer abortions from being criminally prosecuted. Cuomo pointed out that this bill did not expand abortion rights, but merely codifies federal law, but ultimately had to agree to drop the provision in the face of opposition this March. The other nine provisions breezed to victory — another important step towards more gender equality in New York state.

Read the full story at New York.

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