City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and members of the first-ever women majority led city council, gathered on Tuesday, May 3, to support women’s reproductive rights in light of a leaked Supreme Court opinion that could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Politico reported that the Supreme Court is going to vote against the legality of abortion established in 1973 and 1992, based on an “initial draft majority opinion” circulated inside the court.
“New York will remain, make no mistake and hear us clearly, New York will remain a destination state for any and all women seeking abortion care and access to health care,” said Adams at the conference. “I resent any male telling me or my sisters in the United States of America what the hell we can do with our bodies. It is not your right to choose.”
To be clear, abortion is still legal in New York and has been since 1970. The National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York said that New York is one of 16 states that explicitly protect the right to abortion and passed the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, which moved abortion regulation into the health code and expanded the category of medical professionals who can perform the procedure, said NOW.
Thirteen states, mainly in the Midwest and the South, have already passed “trigger laws” that restrict and ban abortion. These laws will automatically kick in as soon as federal protections end, said NOW.
“Now we must turn our attention and resources to vulnerable states to ensure state-by-state that women don’t lose their fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW NY in a statement.
“This is a call to action like no other. Women’s lives depend on it.”
Councilmember Farah Louis, co-chair of Women’s Caucus, said that it was “absolutely inconceivable” that a core part of women’s rights and body autonomy is being threatened. She called certain members on the Supreme Court “out of touch.”
“Bans or reductions to the abortion window will dispproportionaly impact people seeking abortions, particularly in marginalized, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian women, who have no insurance or access to health care and live in [a] healthcare desert,” said Louis.
Councilmember Lynn Schulman, who chairs the health committee, added that reproductive health is a personal issue for her. “My great grandmother died trying to give herself an abortion a hundred years ago,” she said. “My great grandfather had to come here with my grandmother and her four siblings and he couldn’t take care of them. They grew up in an orphanage. We’re going backward now to that place and I will never let that happen.”
Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul also threw out their public support for women’s reproductive rights in response to the nationwide upsetting news.
“New York City knows that a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions is hers and hers alone. This potential assault on their freedom by right wing extremists cannot stand,” said via twitter Mayor Adams. “We’re ready to fight like hell.”
Hochul said she was “absolutely horrified” by the leaked information as a woman. “I refuse to go backwards,” said Hochul in Tuesday’s presser. “My promise is that here in the State of New York we will not stand idly by. Anyone who needs care, we welcome you with open arms.”
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w