Yesterday the NYS Senate passed three more parts of the Women’s Equality Act: preventing employment discrimination against people with families, stopping housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, and ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work.
The prolife position is that we approve and support the passage of 9 of the 10 WEA points, such as these, which enhance the dignity and rights of women. We oppose the radical 10th point that would make abortion legal through all 9 months of pregnancy, permit non-doctors to perform abortions, decriminalize coerced abortions, and allow abortions for sex selection and the reduction of twins.
As the legislative session draws to a close (it ends June 19) supporters of Women’s Equality Act are still split over whether to push for the full agenda — including the controversial abortion expansion measure — as a single piece of legislation or to vote on the 10 components separately. A separate vote would ensure that measures that have broad bipartisan support in both the Assembly and Senate, would be passed into law.
Yesterday, members of the Women’s Equality Coalition, which supports the abortion plank, held a 20-minute rally in the Capitol to pressure lawmakers to pass the 10-point bill. Today Planned Parenthood Advocates of NY held a “Twitter Rally,” tweeting Senate leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein to bring the full WEA to the floor for a vote.
But last week, the Senate had already broken up the bill and passed two parts of it: the anti-human-trafficking and pregnancy protections in the workplace measures. And yesterday, it passed three more parts.The Assembly had passed the full bill last January.
Last year, the Senate passed 9 of the 10 parts of the WEA — all but the radical abortion expansion plank. However, because the Assembly passed the full bill and refused to compromise, no part of the WEA became law.
Will the final two days of the session result in another impasse this year?
Also possibly en route to a vote in the Senate is the so-called “Boss Bill” introduced in March by Rockland’s Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and Manhattan Sen. Liz Krueger. This is a “contraceptive mandate,” similar to the one currently being decided in the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case. It would force employers — regardless of their religious beliefs — to provide contraception to their employees on the grounds of “discrimination.” Read about it here.