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November 19 -- 2019 Preview, Part 1
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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Citing the possibility of a highly-conservative U.S. Supreme Court overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued an executive order last week that directs state officials to take steps to ensure that women maintain access to contraception.
Cuomo’s order directs state agencies to make rules and regulations that will allow New York women who are insured to receive contraceptive services without cost-sharing.
He also unveiled an ad campaign to pressure the Republican-led Senate to reconvene and endorse pending legislation to codify abortion rights in the Empire State. The Democrat-led Assembly has endorsed such legislation for years, including this year’s version (AB 1748) but the Senate has so far shown little enthusiasm in taking up its version (SB 2796) of the measure.
There seems to be little chance of that happening, and Cuomo, citing the cost to taxpayers, has so far resisted using his power to force them back into session. He instead alluded to upcoming elections as the real motivator, saying that if lawmakers don’t come back to pass the measure before next year’s session “then voters are going to know they are against it.”
He went further in a prepared statement, saying “We are going to stand up, fight back and protect a woman’s fundamental right to make her own decisions about her health. It’s simple: either you support the rights afforded by Roe v. Wade, or you don’t – and if you don’t, it’s time for you to go.”
That was not much of a panacea to the governor’s rivals, who accuse him of saying a lot but then doing little actual good to improve women’s lives. Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon released her own video accusing Cuomo of being disingenuous on the issue, specifically by him demanding that the Senate act on the abortion bill and others beneficial to women and then kowtowing to resistant Republicans when they don’t go along.
Cuomo spokesperson Lis Smith brushed off the complaint, saying “Cynthia Nixon can produce and star in as many silly, fact-free videos as she wants,” adding “the governor is focused on uniting Democrats to fight against Donald Trump and his destructive anti-woman agenda.” (NEW YORK TIMES, ALBANY TIMES-UNION, NEWSDAY, NEW YORK GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)