Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thank You, and Keep Fighting!

We are deeply disappointed that reproductive health legislation was not passed by both houses this session.

However, the BPCLC members stood strong for the women of New York – every single one of the pro-choice caucus members in the Assembly voted for the full 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda, including reproductive health.   
BPCLC Members with Cynthia Nixon and NYCLU's
Donna Lieberman at Women's Equality Act Rally

While every BPCLC member in the Senate supported an amendment to attach the reproductive health language to another bill, the Senate came up one vote short and the amendment was defeated. Unfortunately, the Senate majority coalition leaders refused to bring the reproductive health bill to the floor either as part of a 10-point package or as a standalone bill.

While we have been working to protect women’s health, state legislatures across the country are working to pass unconstitutional anti-choice bills – Ohio lawmakers are hijacking their state budget process to launch attacks on reproductive health services and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling a special session to push through the radical anti-abortion bill famously filibustered by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis.

BPCLC Members Standing with the 
Women's Equality Coalition in Albany
As national anti-choice forces fight to move us backward wherever they are able, we must continue to fight and move our state's laws into the 21st century. The BPCLC remains firmly committed to putting ALL of Roe v. Wade's protections on the books in New York State law.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to this effort!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Caucus Statement: Texas, Ohio Latest Symptoms of National Backslide on Women's Rights and Freedoms; Underscores Need for Pro-Choice State Legislators to Organize and Fight Back

Texas, Ohio Latest Symptoms of National Backslide on Women's Rights and Freedoms; Underscores Need for Pro-Choice State Legislators to Organize and Fight Back

New York – The New York State Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus issued the following statement in response to recent developments in Texas and Ohio, and the dramatic increase of anti-woman and anti-choice bills moving in state legislatures across the country:
"Ohio lawmakers are hijacking their state budget process to launch attacks on Planned Parenthood and reproductive health services while funneling money into deceptive so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers,' and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling a special session July 1 to push through the radical bill famously filibustered by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) that would put truly extreme restrictions on Texan women's access to abortion and reproductive health services.

"These are just the latest developments in the most dramatic backslide in more than a generation for women's rights and reproductive freedom in this country. In 2012, 19 states enacted at least 43 new provisions to restrict access to abortion services, many of which facially violate the standards established by Roe v. Wade.

"As anti-choice forces fight to move us backward wherever they are able, we must fight back and move our laws into the 21st century everywhere we are able.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

BPCLC Letter to Health and Human Services on No-Cost Contraceptives

BPCLC members recently sent this joint letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, regarding proposed regulations for no-cost access to contraceptives. You can download it here, or view it below! Thanks to all members who signed on.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Good News on Emergency Contraception!

Finally, some good news!

After a decade of ongoing legal battles to improve access to emergency contraception, or Plan B, a federal district court ruled that the F.D.A. must make Plan B available for sale to all women within 30 days without restrictions – this means over-the-counter, without identification or a prescription, and with no age limitations.

We will keep you updated on developments and outreach efforts. Read more on the ruling.

However, the news in other states is beyond bleak – North Dakota recently passed an extreme bill that prohibits most abortions after 6 weeks. Arkansas’s legislature passed a law, over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, banning abortion after 12 weeks. Lawsuits are sure to follow these clearly unconstitutional bills.

These are just a few reasons why New York needs stronger reproductive health laws now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

80% of New Yorkers Support a Reproductive Health Act

Great news -- a new Siena poll (PDF) shows 80% of New Yorkers support a reproductive health act and two thirds call themselves pro-choice.

From the Siena poll's results:
By an overwhelming 80-16 percent margin, voters support the Governor’s reproductive health act, ‘aimed at protecting reproductive freedom for women, ensuring a woman’s right to make private health care decisions regarding pregnancy.’ At least two-thirds of voters from every party, region and demographic group support it, with the exception of self-identified conservatives who support it 64-29 percent. 66 percent of New York voters describe themselves as pro-choice – including more than two-thirds of Democrats and independents and a majority of Republicans – compared to 27 percent who describe themselves as pro-life.
Meanwhile, a recent op-ed from Dr. Steven Chasen forcefully made the case for the RHA in the Daily News, and debunked some of the swirling rumors and exaggerations RHA's opponents have been spreading:

Opponents have been caricaturing what Gov. Cuomo calls his Women’s Equality Agenda as a radical liberal expansion of abortion rights in a state that already has far more abortions than the national average. As a doctor who specializes in maternal-fetal health, I need to explain why they’re wrong — and why we need to update New York abortion law to make it consistent with federal law and current medical standards.
Read the full piece at the Daily News!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BPCLC Legislative Breakfast: Feb. 12

Save the Date!

The BPCLC Legislative Breakfast will be on Tuesday, February 12th, 8:00-9:30am, in Room 104A of the Legislative Office Building.

Please join the BPCLC to discuss policy priorities for this session and welcome our newest caucus members! The full invitation flier and a list of recently-joined members of the Caucus are available after the jump.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day of Action in Albany

Advocates gather in the capitol's
Legislative Office Building.
More than 400 women’s health advocates gathered at the state capitol Monday, Jan. 14, for Family Planning Advocates' Annual Day of Action. They urged the passage of the Reproductive Health Act and other important women's equality legislation that Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for in his State of the State message. Many BPCLC members were present to speak and show their support for the Reproductive Health Act.

Selected news coverage:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Session and Jan. 14 Day of Action

As we gear up for the new legislative session, the BPCLC welcomes new pro-choice members to join the caucus and push for legislation that furthers women’s reproductive health. We are inspired by the fact that women comprised a critical voting bloc in this year’s election. Abortion and access to contraceptives were key issues for female voters in races at every level.

However, a record number of states continued to chip away at abortion rights in 2012 -- so we must lead on reproductive health here in New York State.

We'll kick off this year's efforts early: with a day of action in the first working week of the session!

Monday, January 14, 2013 Day of Action Family Planning Advocates, Planned Parenthood of New York City, and hundreds of women's health advocates will gather in Albany for their annual Day of Action.