Paulin Issues Statement on Roe v. Wade Draft Ruling
- Category: Health
- Published: Thursday, 05 May 2022 07:25
- Joanne Wallenstein
Through a leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, we have learned that the court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees federal protections of abortion rights for women.
New York State passed The Reproductive Health Act in 2019, which guaranteed that abortion would remain legal in New York even if the court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. At the time, myself and other lawmakers in Albany who worked on and argued for this legislation cited that possibility as a motivation for the law. In an extremely dark time for America, our New York State law has proven to be 100% necessary.
The SCOTUS ruling is appalling for many reasons. It is devastating for the reputation and future of the Supreme Court, which is supposed to be non-political. It is devastating for our democracy, as we have a decision that is against the beliefs of the majority of Americans. Most acutely though, it is devastating for women.
This ruling won’t curb the need for abortion care. It will, however, make it much more difficult, costly, and dangerous to obtain one. Sadly, people who will bear the brunt of the horrific effects of this decision are communities of color, low-income communities, and youth. There is no other way to say it – women across the country will now die because of this unconscionable ruling.
For years anti-abortion states and anti-choice politicians have tried to chip away at Roe v. Wade and abortion rights for women. For years they have sought to shut clinic doors and make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to access the reproductive health care they seek. Now we are seeing what an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court will do.
It is not “pro-life” (as anti-choice advocates like to call themselves) to strip reproductive healthcare away from millions of women. What is pro-life is supporting women in making decisions about their own bodies and helping them have access to the health care they need.
I have witnessed firsthand the damage that overturning Roe v. Wade would do. When I was a teenager in Brooklyn, I had friends and classmates whose lives were changed forever due to lack of abortion access. Since that time, practically my entire teenage and adult lifetime, I have fought to protect women, their right to privacy, and their right to control their bodies and lives.
I plan on doing everything I can, both in Albany and personally, to protect women’s right to choose in New York and ensure that all women have the right to safe and legal abortion.
Below is a list of just a few of the achievements and bills of Assemblymember Amy Paulin with respect to women’s right to choose and related issues.
Expanding the County LWV’s platform to include Abortion Rights. As President of the LWV, she created the League of Women Voters Platform on Abortion Rights in Westchester County. This was at a time when the League was not active in the choice movement.
Abortion Clinic Access bill. She gained the LWV’s support of the Clinic Access bill – which makes it illegal to block access to abortion clinics. She also strongly lobbied for this bill in Albany.
Succeeded in Having the County Include Birth Control in their Employee Health Insurance Coverage. As chair of the Westchester Women’s Agenda she uncovered that Westchester County’s employee health insurance was covering Viagra for Westchester County workers but was not covering contraception for women. She challenged the administration on this and won – helping all women county employees gain insurance coverage for contraception.
Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion (WCLA) Board Member. She served on the WCLA Board for 10 years until she became an elected official and therefore was no longer able to.
Former Executive Director of My Sisters Place, a women’s shelter in Westchester. She has also passed a myriad of bills seeking to stem domestic violence, stalking and female genital mutilation, and to protect and aid the victims of these crimes.
Led and Participated in Many Women’s Marches in Washington DC – often hiring buses to take women from Westchester down and ensure that as many voices are heard as possible. If there is a march on choice, she marches.
Gained Yearly Funding for Planned Parenthood from the Assembly. She drafted and circulated a letter each year for many years to her Assembly colleagues to both fund and increase funding yearly for Planned Parenthood. She achieved this funding out of Assembly funds because the Republican Senate and governor in place during those years wouldn’t fund it.
Authored and Passed NY’s Emergency Contraception Bill. She authored and passed the Emergency Contraception bill in the Legislature, which allows women to get Emergency Contraception from pharmacists. This was the first of any state to pass such a bill. This bill was controversial and the win was hard fought over many years.
Authored and Passed Bill Eliminating the Statute of Limitations on Rape. She authored and passed the bill Eliminating the Statute of Limitations on Rape in NYS. This was passed in 2006 and was landmark legislation!
Passage of the Women’s Reproductive Health Act. She co-sponsored, helped negotiate, and strongly advocated for the Women’s Reproductive Health Act, which passed in 2019. This act expanded abortion rights, decriminalized abortion, and eliminated several restrictions on abortion in the state. It also acknowledged the importance of comprehensive reproductive health care.
Authored and Passed the Trafficking Victim Protection and Justice Act. She sponsored the landmark trafficking victim protection and justice act to toughen penalties for traffickers while providing support to the victims of human trafficking to help them rebuild their lives.
Authored Legislation to Allow Over-The-Counter Birth Control. She is the author and sponsor of a current bill that would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control. This would greatly expand access to birth control throughout the State. Other states have since passed this bill but she was the first in the country to introduce it.
Her current bills also include a Fertility Fraud bill which would penalize fraudulent insemination with unapproved sperm, and a Stealthing bill which makes it a crime for a man to remove his contraception (condom) during intercourse without consent. She has also authored and has several current bills related to women’s reproductive health, including bills which Support Midwifery, and a bill Addressing the Epidemic of C-Sections in our state.
Fight Against the Texas and Mississippi Anti-Abortion Laws
Amicus Brief Against the MS Abortion Laws. She signed and filed an Amicus Brief with legislators from 45 other states which opposes the constitutionality of the new Mississippi abortion law (banning abortion after 15 weeks). This case will likely be taken up by the Supreme Court this fall.
NYS Bill Taking on the TX abortion bill. She has just authored and filed a new bill which directly opposes and would undercut the TX abortion bill in NYS. This bill, if passed, would not allow a claim on property in NYS from an aiding and abetting of abortion verdict under the Texas abortion law. We are the first state in the country to have such a bill proposal.