Hoyt, Nelson and Slepian Announce Signing of "Protections Act"
Planned Parenthood Extends Thanks To Gov. Paterson & Assembly Member Hoyt
Yesterday, October 28, 2009, New York State Governor David Paterson signed the “Protections for Reproductive Health Care Act” (or the "Protections" Act-A.8924/S.06112). Karen J. Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood of Western New York welcomed Assembly Member Sam Hoyt and Lynne Slepian, widow of the slain OB/GYN doctor, Barnett A. Slepian, to Planned Parenthood’s 2697 Main Street location. Nelson’s comments follow:
“It is an honor and a privilege to stand next to Assemblyman Sam Hoyt and announce the signing of Protections for Reproductive Health Act into law. I am grateful to our Governor for prioritizing the safety of the men and women who work to provide safe and legal reproductive health care to women everyday. It is unfortunate that legislation like the Protections Act ever has to be written but the environment we work in, where rhetoric often can escalate into violence, brave health care workers and volunteers deserve protection.
“Planned Parenthood of Western New York serves nearly 10,000 clients a year. Over 90% of the health care we provide works towards the prevention of unintended pregnancy. We are proud providers of reproductive health care including safe and legal abortion services. Our doctors, staff and volunteers take great risks to their safety to serve our many clients. The tragic murders of Dr. George Tiller this year, and in 1998, local health care provider, Dr. Barnett Slepian, both stand as reminders of those risks. The increased penalties for crimes against health care providers and volunteers, I believe, will serve as a deterrent to future attacks. The Protections for Reproductive Health Act is a statement that New York State will not tolerate those who seek to harm health center staff and volunteers. Its passage by wide margins in both the Senate and Assembly is further proof that clinic violence has no place in New York State.
“Our agency currently works with over 200 community volunteers, engaged in many capacities throughout the organization. These volunteers were not forgotten by Assemblyman Hoyt in crafting this legislation. This bill extends the same protections to them as any other health care worker. On behalf of our staff and volunteers, I thank Assemblyman Hoyt and the Governor for the swift passage of the Protections for Reproductive Health Act.
Planned Parenthood of Western New York provides high-quality, affordable, confidential and accessible reproductive health care services at six medical offices throughout Erie and Niagara Counties and Mobile Outreach Team. Their mission is to provide reproductive and family healthcare, promotes responsible and healthy sexuality, and protects choice.
Amy L. White, Director of Marketing & Communications
October 29, 2009