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Opinion

May 1, 2014

In Your Opinion: Equality Act doesn't expand abortion

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 10-point Women’s Equality Act will help the women and families of New York by preserving access to reproductive health care, ensuring fair treatment at work, and helping survivors of violence. It would help working pregnant women, girls trafficked in the sex trade, women abused by their intimate partners, and employees facing sexual harassment or pay discrimination. 

Jean Jones’ April 21 letter contains inaccuracies regarding the WEA’s goal to update New York’s abortion law. 

Under state law, a woman’s health is not protected in the rare and tragic case where a serious complication jeopardizes her health later in pregnancy. The Women’s Equality Act will ensure that a woman can access abortion care when her health is at risk by codifying in New York state law the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. It is not expanding current law; it’s simply updating the language to match federal law.

New York law already clearly defines who can and cannot perform medical procedures. Decisions about who can provide what care are made by the state Education Department and professional licensing boards. The WEA would not change that.

The Women’s Equality Act would help the 10 million women and their families of New York by simply updating our laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives today.

Debra Marcus

Oneonta

Marcus is chief executive officer of Family Planning of South Central New York Inc.

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