Today, the New York State Legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment to comprehensively respond to attacks on reproductive freedom.
This includes enshrining protections for women and pregnant people and other marginalized communities into New York state’s constitution.
The passage of this amendment in the legislature is the first step to secure state constitutional protections for equal rights and reproductive freedom for all New Yorkers.
The Equal Rights Amendment would expand New York State’s constitution to comprehensively prohibit discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sex – including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Notably, the Equal Rights Amendment would protect not only abortion but provide protection against discrimination for all pregnancy outcomes.
“This is a tremendous victory for women, pregnant people, and anyone who faces discrimination across our state: We need a comprehensive equal rights amendment because those who oppose reproductive freedom are equal opportunity offenders – the same extremists who are banning abortion are also attacking trans folks, denying Black people and other communities of color their right to vote, and gutting programs that would advance equity for all.” Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund said. “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we have urged state lawmakers across the country – including those in New York – to take a stand and safeguard the right to abortion and expand access to this critical care. Today, we have seen Governor Hochul, Attorney General James, and legislators set the example of what leadership looks like – what happens when our elected officials act decisively to address their needs. We applaud New York State lawmakers for their actions today, which have put the state on a path to ensuring that all New Yorkers will have the ability to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.”
If passed again next session, New Yorkers will vote on the amendment through a ballot initiative.
A recent poll found New Yorkers overwhelmingly support the passage of an equality amendment, with 79% of voters saying they would vote “yes” to expand equal rights protections in the state constitution.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance equitable access to reproductive health care.
Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.