Category: Updates

3 IDC Members Refuse to Co-Sponsor Reproductive Health Act

Tell them: You can’t have it both ways!

NYS Senators & IDC leading members Klein, Savino & Carlucci to be pro-choice BUT refuse to sign on as co-sponsors of the Reproductive Health Act*.

Just like you can’t be “a little bit pregnant”, you can’t be “a little bit pro-choice”. You cannot pick & choose civil rights. It’s all or nothing.

These 3 IDC traitors want women to vote for them, so they lie.

*They say, “We’re Pro-choice.” BUT they do not support women having 21st century medical care.
*They do not support giving New York women the full constitutional protect guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.
*They do not support putting abortion care in the health code.
*They support keeping abortion in the penal code.

Because of them, if Astorino, or his equivalent, becomes governor, it will be easy to “tweek” the law and, potentially, end up prosecuting women and their doctors.

(You say that can’t happen here, but remember we also did not think Trump and his anti-choice, sexually abusive mentality would end up in the White House.)

(*The Reproductive Health Act would guarantee New York women 21st century medical care, and the full constitutional protection of Roe; plus it would put abortion in the health code where it belongs, and remove it from the penal code.)

Call Klein, Savino & Carlucci and Demand They sign on as Co-Sponsors of the Reproductive Health Act!

Jeff Klein: 718-822-2049 and/or 518-455-3595

Diane Savino: 718-727-9406 and/or 518-455-2437 and/or 718-333-0311

David Carlucci: 845-623-3627 and/or 518-455-2991 and/or 914-941-2041

A Constitutional Amendment? Not with the IDC!

Governor Cuomo has proposed a New York State constitutional amendment codifying Roe v. Wade in State law.

That sounds great. But here’s the problem: this process would take four years at the very least. (And that’s only if we get rid of the IDC!)

Why? Because passing a constitutional amendment into law is a very lengthy process.  **Each house of government, the Senate and the Assembly, must pass the legislation twice – one time in two different elected sessions; **Then, and only then, the proposed amendment can be put on the ballot for a public vote.

But here’s the reality and the truth.  This constitutional amendment will NEVER make it to the floor while the 8 rogue Democrats of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) remain aligned with the Republican Party of Trump and govern with them. The IDC has deliberately turned the duly elected Majority Party, the Democratic Party, into the Minority Party, and have catapulted the Party of Trump, the Republican Party, into the majority. Because of these 8, our New York State Senate has failed to do the business of the People for which they were elected. In a nutshell, these 8, who are more concerned with personal power than party and principle, sold out their constituents and  including and specifically the women of New York State.

Given Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, the original author of the Hobby Lobby decision, to the Supreme Court, we need Governor Cuomo to demand these 8 rogue Democrats return to the Democratic Caucus. There is no time to waste!  Trump is doing everything in his power to turn the clock back on women.

If these 8 “Democrats” did their jobs and put women first, here’s how we could get this done immediately: NY State Senate Minority Leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, rightfully be the Majority Leader, has sponsored a law — the Reproductive Health Act — that would do immediately what the Governor is proposing to take years to do. The Senate would then go on to make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA) law, and pass a budge that would provide for Planned Parenthood and neighborhood clinics.

It is not too late to fix this. Call the IDC members and tell them to:

  1. Return to the Democratic Caucus;
  2. Pass the Reproductive Rights Act; and
  3. Make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act law!

On the Anniversary of Roe

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the U.S Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which recognized that women have a constitutional right to have control over their own bodies.

Before Roe was decided on January 22, 1973, women fought for years for the right to have a safe, legal abortion. In Chicago, there was J.A.N.E., a secret group of primarily women who refused to stand by as women died in dirty back-alley abortions. Other women provided an “underground railroad” for those who needed to travel to get an abortion. Women, just as with the Suffrage Movement, courageously battled for years.

Yesterday, women stood together again in cities across the nation and countries around the world – and this time, some men stood with us. We will not stand idly by as our rights are trampled upon.

Here in New York, we officially launched our campaign, Make New York State a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary – and Governor Cuomo recognized it by announcing a contraceptive coverage administrative action that serves as a stopgap measure until we can get the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA) passed by the New York State Senate. (The Assembly passed CCCA last Tuesday.)

Please note, an administrative action is NOT adequate. Like a president’s Executive Order, it can be wiped away by a successor, just as we are witnessing Donald Trump act on his commitment to undo President Obama’s Executive Orders.

Now the New York State Senate Must Join the Assembly in Standing up for All Women and pass the “Comprehensive” Contraceptive Coverage Act!

Join us and our Make New York State a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary campaign. Please sign our petition: Make New York State a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary. Please share the petition with your friends.

Together, like all who fought for Roe and for the right to vote, we stand united.

We are calling on the Governor to use the powers he demonstrated when he got the Senate to pass Marriage Equality, and Safe Gun and Anti-Fracking Legislation. Governor Cuomo must convince the seven rogue Democrats of the IDC to return to the Democratic Caucus, so that they can do what they were elected to do — the People’s Business.

Join Us for the Women’s March on New York City

On January 21st, New York will proudly join the international community to march in support of Choice Matters’ values.

We will be there defending women’s reproductive rights, and calling on our NYS Governor, Senate and Assembly to make New York a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary State.

Reproductive justice will be more important than ever in the coming years. As other states fall to extreme anti-choice legislation, and Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, we must make our state, New York, a sanctuary for women to receive the care they need and deserve.

We will meet at the start location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 833 1st Avenue New York, NY 10017 at 11 a.m. on January 21st, 2017.

Permits have been obtained through the 17th Precinct Community Affairs office. This historic and peaceful event is open to the public and we ask you to join us.

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If Not Now, WHEN? If Not Here, WHERE?

As we enter 2017, we must demand that Governor Cuomo STAND with the women of New York State.

Governor Cuomo used his powers: 1. to pass the Marriage Equality Act; 2. to pass Sensible Gun Legislation, and 3. to pass Anti-Fracking Legislation.

Governor Cuomo must use those same powers to make New York a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary State.

To do so, he will need to oppose the IDC (so-called Independent Democratic Conference) comprised of 7 rogue members who work with the anti-choice Republican Senate at the expense of their constituents, simply for their own personal power grab.

Cuomo is up for re-election in 2018.
Tell him the TIME is NOW.

We must tell Governor Cuomo that he cannot turn a deaf ear to the women of New York. He cannot win without us.

Help us keep women’s reproductive rights on the front burner for Governor Cuomo.

Remind Cuomo, Donald Trump intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, take away funding from Planned Parenthood, cut Obamacare which will take away contraception from millions, appoint over 100 anti-choice federal judges plus U.S. Supreme Court Justices – and the list goes on.

This is the time for Governor Cuomo to stand up for women!

Anti-Abortion Groups Expect Quick Action from Trump

Trump to Inherit more than 100 Court Vacancies, Plans to Reshape Judiciary

The Abortion Conversation We Need to Have

States Enacted 60 Abortion Restrictions in 2016

Abortion Foes, Emboldened by Trump, Promise “Onslaught” of Tough Restrictions

Make NYS a Sanctuary for Reproductive Rights!

We can make New York State
a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary
– But Not Without Your Help!

We Know Donald Trump intends to overturn Roe v. Wade. He confirmed that again on 60 Minutes, when he promised to appoint only “pro-life” (sic) judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who will overturn Roe and make abortion a “states’ rights” issue again. Trump has surrounded himself with extremists, beginning with picking the most ardent anti-choice governor as his running mate, Mike Pence, and Congressman Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services who espouses the false claim that abortion causes cancer. Pence, as governor, signed a law requiring all fetuses, from abortions and miscarriages, be buried, and outlawed abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities. In Congress, Pence joined Price in voting to defund Planned Parenthood, and against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts. These men, together with the newly-minted anti-choice majority in Congress, are leading the charge to destroy women’s healthcare nationally.

But WCLA – Choice Matters is ready and we know what to do. Having assessed the impact of the 2016 elections and the real horrors to be thrust upon us by the Trump Administration and the ultra-reactionary Congress, WCLA – Choice Matters is ready to arm its supporters with a very pro-active winning strategy.

We must make New York State a Sanctuary Reproductive Rights!

We must demand that NYS Governor Cuomo and the Senate join the Assembly to Pass:

1.  The Reproductive Health Act
♦ NYS’ abortion law is out-of-date. ♦ It doesn’t provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe or 21st century medical care. ♦ 53% of NY counties have no abortion clinics.   ♦ Abortion is still in the penal code. ♦ If a woman’s health is at risk or something goes wrong in her pregnancy after 24 weeks, she must seek care outside of NY because State law doesn’t allow a doctor to provide abortion coverage.

2. The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA)
♦ This bill would protect and expand access to contraceptive coverage without a co-payment; and ♦ It would increase access to emergency contraception.

3. A Budget that Funds Reproductive Health Care
♦ The NYS budget must protect the coverage gains we have; and ♦ It must safeguard women’s health providers, including Planned Parenthood, from defunding attacks that are guaranteed to come as Trump and his Congress do away with Obama Care.

Moving Forward – 2017:
♦  Choice Matters is organizing telephone and writing campaigns to targeted NYS Senators who are acting as roadblocks. They need to be with us or get out of our way. We have already reached out to the Governor.

♦  We are using our now-famous ProChoice IDEA – identification, education and activation – to expand our Outreach Program.  We identify voters who will vote only for candidates who are pro-choice and are willing to cross party-lines to do so. We add those pro-choice voters to our database. We send everyone in our database, free-of-charge, our ProChoice newsletter/voting guide. All we ask is that they vote, and they do! (As of January 1, 2016 we expanded this outreach to NYS Senate District #9 and helped deliver a pro-choice victory to Todd Kaminsky in April!)

♦  We are writing, facebooking and tweeting. We are all over the web and have promised to give Trump a run for his money on twitter.

♦  We are organizing outreach events at temples, churches and community centers. If young voters don’t understand this issue, how can they know what is at stake?

♦  We are also organizing house parties. These are small gatherings to explain what is happening and what we can do. (Please, if you can host a house party, let us know!)

But, at the end of the day, it comes back to money. We need your financial support. Money pays for our outreach which is only limited by what we raise, not our energy or strategy.

We have been able to succeed because of our proven strategy and your contributions .Please donate today!

Sad News About Our Founder Polly Rothstein

We are devastated to share the news that Polly Rothstein, founder of WCLA and pro-choice pioneer, has passed away.

In 1970, three years before Roe v. Wade, New York State legalized abortion. Two years later, the New York State legislature moved to rescind the recently passed abortion legalization laws and Polly Rothstein’s career and our organization, WCLA, was born.

Polly Rothstein, founder of WCLA (Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion) passed away yesterday. She was a tireless fighter for our rights — never shrinking from her principles — even when they called her a murderer and baby killer. Polly ignored the insults and kept her eye on the ball. Rather than focusing on emotions, she developed an effective tactic that our organization uses to this day. She called it Pro-Choice IDEA. She understood that politics was a numbers game, and her strategy to mobilize pro-choice voters which swung elections, turned Westchester County and New York state pro-choice.

If Polly taught us anything, it was that elections matter. We are deeply saddened that Polly was not able to see Hillary Clinton, who she supported, elected President of the United States. However, knowing Polly, we know how she would have reacted. She would roll up her sleeves and declare that just like in 1972, we need to make New York State a bellwether of Choice. Mr. Trump promises an anti-choice agenda. He says that abortion will go “back to the states” and Roe v. Wade will be overturned or severely curtailed. New York will need to pass the final part of the Women’s Equality Act — the Reproductive Health Act.

WCLA – Choice Matters will continue to carry the torch that Polly lit over 40 years ago. We will be a light in these dark times. Join us.

We ask you to make a donation to WCLA-Choice Matters in honor of Polly Rothstein. Help us to keep her legacy going by shoring up New York State and then working to block anti-choice measures in Congress.

Click Here Contribute to Choice Matters

Trump recommits to overturning Roe v. Wade

In the aftermath of the election, the whole world is trying to figure out what Donald Trump really stands for. His supporters are attempting to gaslight the public and pretend that he did not make outrageous promises to jail his opponents, build a wall, deport 11 million people and institute a police state in vulnerable communities. Yesterday, on 60 Minutes, he attempted to soften his image. We wait with anxiety to see if he really will not be the disaster that we think he will be for people of color, LBGT people, the uninsured and sick, Muslims, refugees and undocumented immigrants. But there is no need to wonder what his intentions are when it comes to reproductive rights.

Lesley Stahl: During the campaign, you said that you would appoint justices who were against abortion rights. Will you appoint– are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Donald Trump: So look, here’s what’s going to happen– I’m going to– I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life. They’ll be very—

Lesley Stahl: But what about overturning this law–

Donald Trump: Well, there are a couple of things. They’ll be pro-life, they’ll be– in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody’s talking about the Second Amendment and they’re trying to dice it up and change it, they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and–

Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?

Donald Trump: No, it’ll go back to the states.

Lesley Stahl: By state—no some —

Donald Trump: Yeah.

Donald Trump: Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.

Lesley Stahl: And that’s OK?

Donald Trump: Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.

So many of us are hearing that we should wait and see how this develops. We are being told that it will be OK.  Rule One of dealing with an autocrat is to believe what he says he is going to do. We are not going to wait to see how this plays out. Women’s lives depend on access to safe and affordable Reproductive Health Care. Please join us in the fight to elect pro-choice candidates. Let’s not wait and see. Let’s start now.

Where we go from here


Dear Friends,

There is no other way to say it – the outcome of yesterday’s elections is devastating for all of us, the adverse impact unfathomable. Whatever your focus is – reproductive rights, education, federal parklands or voter rights, we have all been left gasping for air.

But, there is no time to waste.

We must all focus on New York State – protect what is good and change what is not!

Right off the top, we need to:

  1. Pass the Reproductive Health Act.
    People incorrectly think that there’s no problem for women in New York State. The reality is that 53% of NY counties have no abortion clinics and the number of abortion providers decreases every year. To get an abortion after 16 weeks, women must travel to New York City or Westchester, figure out how they’ll afford a three-day procedure, plus housing, food, etc. – not to mention missing work, school and leaving their families. After 24 weeks, it’s virtually impossible to terminate here. NY’s law was written before Roe v. Wade and does not provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe. If a woman’s health is at risk or something goes wrong in her pregnancy after 24 weeks, she must seek care outside of NY because State law doesn’t allow a doctor to provide abortion coverage.
  2. We need to change our New York State voting laws to:
    1. Include early voting. People cannot stand in line for hours on Election Day. The elderly and those with disabilities are unable to stand; others can’t miss work or school or caring for their children, etc. This results in voter suppression.
    2. Add curtains to our voting booths. I receive calls from women saying they’re scared that people will see who they’re voting for. When we changed machines we didn’t have to give up privacy.We need to make voting easier, not harder
    3. These can be a non-partisan issues if we want them to be. Please read these New York Times editorials. 
  3. We can be sure that the new Trump Administration will do away with Obama Care, which means they’ll get rid of the requirement to cover preventive care such as mammograms and contraception without a co-pay, as well as provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. We must make sure New York State keeps these requirements!

Please contribute to WCLA – Choice Matters so that we can focus on New York State – protect what is good and change what is not! We are your local organization & we get things done!

The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines so, as Hillary said, “Deal me in!”

This is what I told my children this morning: “This is not over. Just because someone wants to come for your rights doesn’t mean you give up your rights. You stand and you fight. That is something I have been a role model for all my life. And I tell my children, we stand and we fight. That may not be the kind of life for many people, but it is sometimes the only life. We all need to get up. We all need to question the validity of these results. And we need to fight. We are not giving up. We need to organize.”

Onward and Upward,