New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Shores Up State Protections for Abortion Rights

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a rally of hundreds of union members in support of IBEW Local 3 (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) at Cadman Plaza Park, September 18, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. More than 1800 members …
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has joined abortion activists in seeking ways to protect abortion on demand amidst fears that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade.

The governor has urged the New York state legislature to pass a pro-abortion bill that would ensure that abortion remains legal in the state even if Roe is overturned. At a rally with abortion activists Monday, Cuomo said the Reproductive Health Act would protect abortion rights in the New York Constitution.

“Mark my words, they are moving to roll back Roe v. Wade, that is going to be the next move by this president,” Cuomo said in reference to President Trump’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. “They say it. It’s not like you have to read the tea leaves.”

“They want to take us back to the dark days,” he said.

At another rally on Tuesday, the governor said of Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh: “This is a pro-life justice who I believe, there’s no question, will overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Cuomo, a Catholic Democrat who is up for re-election, also signed an executive order Tuesday directing state agencies to oblige health insurers to cover all forms of contraception, including those that cause abortions.

The governor asked the state Senate to return early from its summer break in order to pass the pro-abortion legislation. The bill has already passed the Democrat-led state Assembly, but faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled state Senate.

Cuomo pressed the senators to approve the legislation, suggesting that a failure to do so could cost them their jobs.

“You either come back and protect a woman’s right to choose and respect a woman’s reproductive health rights,” the governor said, “or the voters are going to say to you in November, ‘You’re with Trump? Well, you’re fired from the New York State Senate.’”

Candice Giove, a spokeswoman for the Senate Republicans, derided Cuomo for his heavy-handed tactics, saying in a statement that the governor is so “frightened” of his Democrat Party challenger Cynthia Nixon that he has drunk “the Kool-Aid of radicals and socialists who now control the Democratic Party.”

“Women’s health issues deserve more than political stunts with stolen one-liners from The Apprentice,” she said.

Giove has criticized the Reproductive Health Act for allowing non-doctors to perform abortions and for its elimination of protections for pregnant women who are physically abused.

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