New Yorkers could add abortion rights to the state constitution as early as next year after lawmakers agreed on an amendment during a special session called by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The state senate passed the measure with bipartisan support early on Friday, and the assembly is expected to follow on Saturday morning.
Lawmakers must approve the change a second time next year before it goes public for a final vote. The process does not require final approval from the governor.
“No one should be judged on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed [or]religion or gender, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive health care and autonomy, are subject to discrimination in their civil rights by another person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or government agency, or Subdivision of the State,” reads the amendment text.
Protection for LGBTQ New Yorkers was raised in light of the consensus of opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Roe v. Wade picked up, recorded. In his opinion, Thomas suggested the judges reconsider other precedents that enshrined the right to free use of contraception, homosexual sex and same-sex marriage.
“Frankly, we’re running out of time to codify these human rights before the Supreme Court completely overrides them,” State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) claimed in the chamber on Friday.
Stewart-Cousins further noted that the state Senate passed the proposed amendment exactly 52 years to the day after abortion was legalized in New York in 1970 – three years before Roe v. Wade extended the right nationwide.
An initial attempt to enshrine abortion in the state constitution fell through during the regularly scheduled legislative session that ended in early June.
But the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to impeach Roe has reignited efforts to resolve disagreements among lawmakers over how the amendment could conflict with the religious rights of New Yorkers.
“I always say that sometimes we have so many members in a conference … sometimes the job is to get them to meet at a point where everyone is comfortable,” said assembly spokesman Carl Heastie ( D-Bronx), told reporters on Friday. “And I think we’ve been able to do that in consultation with the Senate over the past few days.”
https://nypost.com/2022/07/01/new-push-to-put-abortion-in-ny-constitution-after-roe-v-wade-overturn/ New push to add abortion to New York Constitution after Roe v. Wade fell