Letter to the Editor: Reproductive Health a Key Election Issue, The Journal News, Feb. 7, 2014
Pro-choice groups are right to call out Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the Politics on the Hudson blog for referring to abortion as a “straw man” being used by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost support for his re-election.
In fact, it’s Astorino who isn’t acknowledging the importance of this issue. Planning a run for governor himself, his comment shows that he too easily dismisses the value of reproductive health care for women. Like it or not, access to abortion is an issue for a majority of New Yorkers who believe a woman should be able to make her own personal health-care decisions.
Polls continually show that at least seven out of 10 New Yorkers support passage of a bill that would write into state law the protections of Roe v. Wade. That support includes 62 percent of Catholics and 78 percent of Latinos.
Astorino is also mistaken in his interpretation of the Women’s Equality Act, which has 10 components that would help protect against discrimination and inequality based on gender. The WEA addresses pay equality, domestic violence, sexual harassment and sex trafficking, as well as access to reproductive health care.
By conveniently avoiding this reality, Astorino is not listening to the needs of New York women.
Reina Schiffrin and Maria Imperial
Hawthorne and White Plains
The writers are president/CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic and CEO of YWCA White Plains and Central Westchester.