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Assembly Health Committee holds back anti-choice bills

Reproductive Health Act now urged

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Amy White, Director of Marketing & Communications

phone: 716-831-2200 ext 5910


Published: 06.03.10| Updated: 06.03.10

(Buffalo, NY—June 3, 2010) Pro-choice members of the state’s Assembly Health Committee today upheld New York’s pro-choice policies by beating back three anti-choice bills that would have put the health and safety of the state’s women at risk. This action reflects the pro-choice values of the Assembly and the majority of New Yorkers. Planned Parenthood of Western New York now calls on lawmakers to pass the Reproductive Health Act (S.5808).

“Today is another clear example of lawmakers taking action that reflects New Yorkers’ pro-choice values,” said Karen J. Nelson, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western New York. “As a leader in providing access to comprehensive reproductive health care services, New York now needs to pass the Reproductive Health Act.”

In 1970, New York was one of the first states in the nation to permit safe and legal abortion, greatly reducing maternal death. However, New York’s law is outdated and inadequate. It allows for abortion only if the mother’s life is in danger. There is no provision for protecting her health. New York has to rely on the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade to provide access to abortion care if a woman’s health is at risk during pregnancy.

Women can experience a host of complications during pregnancy and, sometimes, as a result of pregnancy. These health threats include pre-eclampsia, stroke, infertility, placenta previa, kidney failure and more. Every situation is different and it is important that a woman’s health care provider is able to use his or her best medical judgment to make the determination if a pregnant woman’s health is at risk and help her decide the best course of treatment.

“New York needs a health exception in its law so that health care providers are not hindered by conflicts between the state’s statute and federal case law and so that women’s health is not at risk,” said Nelson.

The Reproductive Health Act also would move the regulation of abortion out of the penal code, where it has been since before 1970 and into the public health code where every other medical practice is governed. And, it would prevent any mandatory imposition of contraception to women of New York by regulation or judicial ruling.

States in other parts of the country have passed laws hindering abortion care and jeopardizing women’s health and safety. Planned Parenthood of Western New York urges passage of the Reproductive Health Act here in New York to make certain that a woman and her health care provider can protect her health during pregnancy.

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Planned Parenthood of Western New York provides reproductive and family healthcare, promotes responsible and healthy sexuality, and protects choice. It has 6 health centers in the Western New York region, one teen after-school education center and a 36 foot mobile health care unit. It serves over 10,000 women and men with reproductive health care each year. Its Niagara County pediatric practice serves 3,500 children with primary care each year.

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