ALBANY, NY (ChurchMilitant.com) - On January 17, the New York State Assembly (NYSA) passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA), which guarantees free birth control. This law would mandate that health insurance companies provide free coverage for all FDA-approved contracpetion. The NYSA passed the law by a comfortable margin of 103–43.
Donna Lieberman, head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, remarked:
The Trump regime has made it unmistakably clear that they cannot be counted on to respect a woman's ownership of her body and her destiny. That's why New York must act now to protect women's rights. The State Assembly has taken an important first step to resist the Trump agenda.
The Assembly passed as well by a margin of 97–49 the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), which would give women access to abortions in New York.
Both bills will still need to pass the state Senate, and considering recent history, this will be a much tougher task. In the spring of 2016, the Senate Health Committee voted down the RHA by a vote of 9–7, while the CCCA also didn't progress very far in the Senate.
In 2014, the RHA, backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also failed by a vote of 9—7, as the bill came under fire from the pro-life community and the archdiocese of New York.
Edward Mechmann, an official with the archdiocese, commented in 2014, "The governor's proposal is much more radical, and would expand abortion rights beyond current federal and state law."
Kelly Cummings, spokeswoman for the Republican members of the New York state senate, said, "By continuing to push for an extreme and dangerous proposal that would allow non-doctors to perform abortions right up to the day of a baby's birth, the Senate Democrats have once again put party politics over the health and safety of New York's women."
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has been a staunch defender of the pro-abortion agenda and has backed this up by his actions and words.
In a radio interview in 2014, Cuomo remarked:
Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon and anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and they're the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are.
In 2013, Cuomo also supported the "Women's Equality Act," which would have allowed abortion at any point in the pregnancy if the health of the mother is threatened. Pro-life activists condemned this bill as greatly expanding abortion laws in New York.
Charmaine Yoest, former president of Americans United for Life (AUL), commented that if the bill were to pass, "New York will be sanctioning unrestricted, virtually unregulated, and taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, making it the most radically pro-abortion state in the nation."
With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, pro-life groups are energized just as pro-abortion groups see his election as a threat. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, commented, "Our country now stands perilously close to a return to the dark days when women were forced to put their own lives at risk to get safe and legal abortion care."
In response, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, remarked, "This is an historic moment for the pro-life movement." Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, "We are on the cusp of a conservative generation."
During his campaign, the president-elect released two lists of potential nominees to the Supreme Court, and the potential candidates have received strong support from pro-life leaders. Regarding Trump's list of potential candidates, Dannenfelser commented, "This is an exceptionally strong list of jurists with immense respect for our founding documents."