Tag: Senate

40 NYS-Based Organizations Join Choice Matters Demanding Passage of RHA

Groups Call For Immediate Passage Of The RHA
January 2019

We, the undersigned, ask that you vote for the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) of 2019 during this legislative session. The RHA secures and protects our health and reproductive rights by updating New York’s outdated abortion law passed back in 1970, prior to Roe v. Wade.

According to current state law, New York regulates abortion as a homicide in the penal code. The law as it stands fails to meet the constitutional standard of Roe and is out of step with modern medicine. With the Trump administration determined to limit abortion access and a new anti-Roe majority on the Supreme Court, time is of the utmost importance. This is why we ask that you pass the RHA NOW.

The Reproductive Health Act is important because it:

Updates our laws, securing and protecting the right to abortion in New York. The RHA enshrines in state law the constitutional standard of Roe, affirms reproductive freedoms, and allows New Yorkers to get safe and legal abortions.

Protects health care professionals who provide vital care. The RHA ensures that qualified health care providers with appropriate training and expertise can provide abortion services. This improves access to health care, especially for low income women, women of color and women in rural areas.

Treats abortion as health care, not a crime. The RHA moves the regulation of abortion from the penal code into public health law and repeals a Civil War-era law that criminalizes women who terminate a pregnancy without a medical provider.

Nearly eight out of 10 New Yorkers support protecting a woman’s right to have an abortion. Additionally, one in four women will access abortion care in their lifetime. We want to make sure that New York offers the fullest protections when it comes to reproductive health care.

The policies of the Trump administration and the new Supreme Court make it unsafe and irresponsible for New York to rely on federal protections to ensure our basic rights. ​We need state protections, and we expect our elected officials to show real leadership in defending abortion access.

With your support, New York State can be a national leader when it comes to abortion access and the reproductive rights of women. We strongly urge members of both houses of the legislature to support the Reproductive Health Act of 2019.

WCLA – Choice Matters, the oldest ongoing pro-choice advocacy organization in the nation, proudly joins with the following forty (40) New York State-based organizations, together representing thousands upon thousands of NYS residents, to ask NYS Governor Cuomo, the NYS Senate and the NYS Assembly to pass the Reproductive Health Act into law NOW.

WCLA – Choice Matters stands with the following 40 NYS-based Organizations
Action Together – Northern Westchester
American Muslims Indivisible
Briarcliff Ossining Indivisible
CCoHope Indivisible (Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill)
CD17Indivisible
Coalition New York
Concerned Citizens for Change
Cortlandt Democratic Committee
Croton Democratic Committee
Croton in Action
Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee
Indivisible New Rochelle
Indivisible Pawling
Indivisible Districts 6 & 7
Indivisible New York
Indivisible Rivertowns
Indivisible Scarsdale
Indivisible Westchester
Indivisible Yorktown NY
Irvington Activists
LarchForward
Left of Main Street
Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network
March on Peekskill
New York Progressive Action Network
Northern Westchester Indivisible
Philipstown Women Are Watching
Progressive Women of New York
Progressive Women of Pelham
Putnam Progressives
Rockland Citizens Action Network
Rockland United
Up2Us
Uptown Progressive Action
WE PERSIST
Westchester Black Political Conference
Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus
Westchester for Change
Westchester Young Democrats
Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance

Senate to Consider 20-Week Abortion

Plus
The Anti-Abortion Rights Strategy

“One state at a time – and then go national!”
That is the new anti-choice strategy and it’s working!

The 20-week abortion ban is the anti-choice extremists’ target right now.  They believe the ban will be their opening to challenge and, ultimately, overturn Roe v. Wade.

Over the course of the last 12 months, these strategic zealots have managed to get this ban – a prohibition of all abortions from 20 weeks on – passed into law in 15 states, with others including Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Ohio considering bans as well.

These bans are so extreme that a woman is prohibited from terminating a pregnancy even in cases of severe fetal anomalies.

By showing success in individual states, these anti-choice extremists gained leverage in Washington DC. They used it to convince their legislative partners in the House of Representatives to introduce the same ban in Congress – and it passed in the House on May 13, 2015.

Then on June 11, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the bill in the Senate, and every single 2016 GOP presidential hopeful quickly endorsed it; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to get it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Maybe you think this doesn’t affect you because you live in New York.

Think again! If the 20-week ban is passed by Congress then it becomes New York’s law too.

For now, the Senate Democrats will hopefully block the ban; and if they fail, President Obama will likely veto it. But the legislation is gaining momentum.

George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen – The Facts

David vs. Goliath
George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen
– The Facts –

George Latimer (D, WF) and Bob Cohen (R, C, I) are running for the open seat being vacated by retiring pro-choice Senator Suzie Oppenheimer.

Choice Matters’ endorsements are made solely on the issue of Choice. We have, however, received a significant number of inquiries regarding the State Senate race in the 37th district. Therefore, we are sharing additional information.

On the issue of Women’s Reproductive Rights:
George Latimer is 100% pro-choice.
George Latimer has worked to advance a reproductive rights and health agenda in the Assembly since 2004, including sponsoring the Reproductive Health Act and voting to ensure women have access to emergency contraception.

As an Assemblyman and former Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Latimer has been an outspoken advocate for legislation that ensures access to vital health care services for women.
Bob Cohen is anti-choice.
Bob Cohen refused to stand up for even the most basic of needs, safe access to reproductive health clinics – despite repeated requests addressed to Cohen and to his campaign.
Cohen also refuses to tell the public his position on the Reproductive Health Act – a bill New York desperately needs to pass.
To get the facts, click here and read our piece titled “Bob Cohen is anti-choice!  NO if’s and’s or but’s about it
On the issue of New York State’s Fair Pay Act – Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation:
George Latimer is a supporter and voted in favor of its passage in 2011 and 2012. (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.06130).

Bob Cohen is silent on the issue. There is nothing on his website concerning the Fair Pay Act – Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation

On the issue of Cancer and Cancer Research:
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization. Its Cancer Votes initiative has produced a questionnaire to establish the candidates’ position on cancer. They distributed questionnaires but are not endorsing. (Click here to see the questionnaire.)
14 people are diagnosed with cancer each and every day right here in Westchester.

George Latimer returned his questionnaire promptly.

Bob Cohen was silent on the issue, refusing to answer the questionnaire despite repeated requests.

On the issue of Taxes:
George Latimer has
: 1. Voted to cut State Income Tax rates to the lowest levels in 58 years (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.40001); 2. Voted to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax for over 25,000 small businesses, and all public and private schools (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.40002); 3. Sponsored legislation to eliminate the 1989 tax surcharge on home sales (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.307); 4. Sponsored bi-partisan legislation for full elimination of the MTA Payroll Tax (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.5616 and A.8193); 5. Cut taxes for 3 straight years (1998-2001) as Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (Westchester County Board of Legislators, 914-995-2800).

Bob Cohen has no voting record.
Click here for more information on the race and particularly tax issues,  The Hottest Race for the NYS Senate: George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen, by David Singer, 10/18/2012.
N.Y. Board: “Slumlord” ad against GOPer is accurate, Salon, by Jillian Rayfield. 10/19/2012.

Hats Off to a Legend, Suzi Oppenheimer!

“Suzi Oppenheimer”
A Name Synonymous with Women’s Rights
New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer has announced that she will be retiring at the end of 2012.We—the women of this state—will miss her greatly!Suzi has been at the forefront fighting for the women of Westchester and New York State for almost three decades.Suzi has battled tirelessly against Senate anti-choice bills, making all women’s needs her concern. Her floor speeches in favor of Medicaid funding are legendary. She has fought annually for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Choice Matters has been proud to endorse Senator Suzi Oppenheimer in every election since her initial run for the New York State Senate. In 1982, she came close, making Choice a focal point of her campaign; in 1984 she closed the deal with the voters.

In 1984, when she ran against anti-choice Perone, Suzi made her position on government’s proper role in abortion clear, saying, “Government has no more right to decide whether a woman may have an abortion than it has the right to tell us where we can’t live, whom we can’t marry, or what religion we can’t practice.”  She stressed the need not only to protect our freedom of choice, but to protect the safety of abortion as well. “Abortion has been with us for thousands of years, and no law will stop it now. Since the Supreme Court has already affirmed the right of a woman to choose abortion, it is now our duty not just to protect that right, but to protect the health and safety of all women who do decide they must have an abortion.”

Suzi, we hold our glasses high in a toast to you.

You have set the bar very high, and we thank you for that too!

 

Republicans Vote Unanimously (along with 16 Dems) – Pass “Stupak on Steriods”

This week, ALL House Republicans, with the help of 16 Democrats, voted successfully to pass the greatest assault on women’s health to date—H.R. 3, the “Stupak on Steriods” bill .  It is a horrific expansion of government insertion in women’s health though mandates and tax penalties for families and small businesses which use private funds to buy insurance plans that include abortion coverage. House Republicans were unanimous in their assault on women.

Note: Nan Hayworth (R-19 CD) voted in support of this direct attack
on women. (Voters must remember that next Election Day!) (You can see a record of who voted how here.)
To Hear From Leaders who Believe in Women:
Click here to hear Congressman Engel’s (D-17 C.D.) and Congresswoman Lowey (D-18 C.D.) speak out in support of women and against H.R. 3.

H.R. 3 is actually an extreme attempt to eliminate access to and coverage of abortion services by: 1. Prohibiting federal and military employees from buying coverage (even with their own money); 2. Initiating rape audits if insurance is used to cover the procedure; 3. Limiting coverage of rape victims to only those who can prove forcible rape; 4. Allowing hospitals to watch women die if saving them means performing an abortion; and 5. Implementing financial barriers to cripple small businesses that offer employees health plans that include abortion coverage.

Only we–you and I–stand between Stupak on Steroids and the Senate. Click here to Support our Fight! We Must Fight Back with Everything We’ve Got!

In the Senate, extremist Republicans are already working to ensure H.R. 3 comes to the Senate floor.We, their constituents, must make our opposition to H.R.3 heard. CLICK HERE to contact your Senators. Tell them to oppose H.R. 3

New Yorkers:   To contact Senator Schumer:
Call 202-224-6542
To send him a message, click here.
To contact Senator Gillibrand:
Call (202) 224-4451
To send her a message, click here.

Myth Busters #2 Tell Joe DioGuardi Women DON’T Fake Rape and Incest

FACT: When in Congress, DioGuardi cast his vote against abortion rights every time he had a chance including voting against abortions for women pregnant from rape or incest.

He explained, to a group of pro-choice lobbyists while in office, the number of real rapes and cases of incest were minimal.

DioGuardi opined, women cry rape and incest long after the fact.*
(hmmmm) ”he really doesn’t understand sexual trauma”, (wonder what he says about victims reporting sexual assault by religious leaders that occurred years ago.)

Joe DioGuardi was a two-term anti-choice incumbent when he lost to women’s reproductive rights advocate Congresswoman Nita Lowey in 1988. When he challenged Lowey again in 1992, DioGuardi took the Right to Life line.

Today DioGuardi is again endorsed by the Right to Life Committee.
He has become more conservative over time, not less.

Now he is running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand”and there is no stronger advocate in the Senate for women than Kirsten.

Tell DioGuardi New York women have no use for recycled Right to Life extremists!

*WCLA – Choice Matters has wonderful archives, and we have substantial files on Joseph (Joe) DioGuardi, past and present.