Passage of the Women’s Equality Act is critically important to protecting a woman’s right to make her own comprehensive health care decisions. The recent Supreme Court decision to deny contraceptive insurance to thousands of women across the United States in the Hobby Lobby case shows just how quickly these rights can be taken away. This case is further reason why New York must take action and pass the Women’s Equality Act now.
The Women’s Equality Act, in its entirety, would ensure that women in New York receive equal pay for equal work and are protected from sexual harassment and discrimination. It would also strengthen laws to fight against human trafficking, protect women who have been victims of domestic violence and match state laws on women’s health with those that have been protected under federal law for more than 40 years by way of Roe v. Wade (1973).
Should the Supreme Court ever overturn Roe v. Wade, New York’s protections for women to make their own health decisions would regress to laws of more than half a century ago. Those who oppose the Women’s Equality Act have twisted the truth about this important legislation, putting already existing protections for women at risk. I respect the personal beliefs of all, but cannot condone the distortion of facts for the purpose of a larger political agenda. Women’s rights are too important.
I am proud to join the large majority of New Yorkers in support of the Women’s Equality Act. The text of the legislation speaks for itself, and those facts cannot be undermined by misinformation. I encourage those interested in this issue to read the text of the Women’s Equality Act that has passed the Assembly, but remains blocked in the Senate for political purposes. It can be found online at: open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A8070-2013.
I will continue to advocate for a New York where women no longer earn only 84 percent of what their male counterparts do, where one of four women will not be victims of domestic violence and where we have the strongest possible laws to fight against the tragedy of human trafficking. I will also continue to advocate for protecting the rights women have had for more than 40 years to make their own health care decisions.
Sen. Terry Gipson
41st State Senate District