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Abortion rights secure in NY, but issue could come up in governor's race

May 04, 2022 1:00 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics with the possibility of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling being overturned, the debate over abortion is set to return to New York amid an election year.  A draft SCOTUS opinion leaked to Politico on May 2, indicated the court has voted to overturn the Roe decision, ending federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and sending the issue back to the states to legislate. In a statement May 2, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she was "horrified" by the draft ruling. "New York will always be a place where abortion rights are protected and where abortion is safe and accessible. Just as the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp tall in our harbor, New York will never stop fighting for what's right — unafraid and undeterred," Hochul said. For opponents of abortion, the news was seen as a potential relief. “While it is important that we wait for the justices of the United State Supreme Court to speak for themselves through an official opinion, tonight’s news is an exciting possibility for those of us in the trenches of America’s pro-life movement," the Rev. Jason McGuire, the executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, said. In 2019, state lawmakers and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved the Reproductive Health Act, a measure meant to strengthen New York abortion laws and codify the decision in state law. The law allows a pregnancy to be terminated after 24 weeks if a woman’s life is in danger or the fetus is not viable. It allows a licensed or certified health care practitioner to perform abortions. "Unfortunately, we knew this day was coming, and that is why when we took the Senate Majority we immediately codified Roe v. Wade into state law, allowing us to withstand any Supreme Court decision," said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Abortion could now become an issue in the governor's race. Republican gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, told a group of abortion opponents he would support nominating a so-called pro-life state health commissioner if elected governor. Zeldin said Monday, “Those ruling Albany support late-term partial-birth abortions, and non-doctors performing abortions," the campaign said. "Instead, Kathy Hochul should be supporting adoption, health care, families, life, informed consent and parental consent." Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.

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