Published on July 1st, 2022
Memorandum of Opposition
Re: A41002 Seawright/S51002 Stewart-Cousins
The above-referenced legislation would amend New York State’s Constitution to ban unjust discrimination against persons based on a broad variety of classes and characteristics. This version of the bill rightly applies the same level of protection to religion as it does to the expanded list of classes. While we strongly agree with the goal of protecting all human beings from unjust discrimination, we oppose this legislation as it seeks to enshrine the right to abortion in the New York State Constitution.
Including “reproductive healthcare and autonomy” in the litany of protected classes in Section 11 of the New York State Constitution is another unnecessary step in the state’s quest to be the abortion capital of the country. The amendment is gratuitous, as abortion is already legal in New York with virtually no restrictions, and has, in fact, been declared a “fundamental right” by the Reproductive Health Act of 2019. Unfortunately, this bill solidifies the message that New York has been sending women for some time now: abortion is positive, empowering, and the key to success. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Women, children, and their families deserve support and compassion. Baby formula is scarce, raising a family is unaffordable, and the fallout from the pandemic continues to take its toll. New York State should be pouring resources into helping women and families, not promoting abortion through limitless funding, advertisements, and splashy legislation.
New York should stop promoting abortion as a woman’s best and only choice. We urge you to oppose this legislation and focus instead on true support for women, children, and families.