Position Statement – 2011
(Original memo issued in 2007)
S.2844 / A.6112
Reproductive Health Act
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) strongly supports this legislation which would enact the Reproductive Health Act (S5808/A11484).
WBASNY continues to be a strong supporter of a woman’s fundamental right to choose and make her own reproductive decisions. The State of New York recognized the importance of protecting this right by enacting its abortion laws in 1970, and the United States Supreme Court solidified this protection when it decided Roe v Wade three years later. However today, nearly forty years later, women are witness to this basic right being jeopardized and eroded by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld a federal restriction on certain abortions.
The Reproductive Health Act will ensure that New York State stays at the forefront of protecting and respecting women’s health issues, and a woman’s right to make her own private reproductive health care decisions.
The Reproductive Health Act adds important protections for New Yorkers and ensures that women in New York are able to have an abortion if their health is in danger. In addition, the bill would ensure that all individuals in New York have the right to choose or refuse contraception.
WBASNY, with over 3,800 members from eighteen chapters across the State, is the largest statewide bar association dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the legal profession and in society. Our mission commits us to improving the status of all women, and WBASNY addresses complex legal issues as we advocate for change for women and children throughout the state, and promote the fair and equal administration of justice for all. Members of WBASNY include individuals from all levels of the state and federal benches, as well as prominent attorneys practicing in all areas of the law, educators and government leaders.
WBASNY urges passage of this important legislation.