WHITE PLAINS, NY — August 22, 2018 — With the President of the United States and the US Supreme Court threatening the rights of women to make private health care decisions, and with every New York State Senate Republicans refusing to vote to protect women’s reproductive choices, New York’s leading women’s advocacy organizations came together to endorse Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for re-election. Senator Stewart-Cousins is on the ballot in the upcoming primary election on Thursday September 13th.
At a rally outside of the Federal Courthouse in White Plains, Planned Parenthood Empire State Votes PAC, the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund PAC, Eleanor’s Legacy, Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion PAC, NOW-NYS, and dozens of local activists and elected officials spoke out in support of re-electing Senator Stewart-Cousins and making her the majority leader of the New York State Senate. Advocates say this is a critical step towards standing up to President Trump and passing State laws that protect women’s choice like the Reproductive Health Act.
Senator Stewart-Cousins has been the leader of the Senate Democratic Conference since 2012 and if Democrats win the majority in the November elections, she will be the first woman majority leader in the history of New York State.
She has been one of the leading advocates in New York to pass the Reproductive Health Act, which would strengthen the State’s abortion laws by codifying the protections guaranteed in the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision into New York’s health code. The state laws permitting abortion are currently written into New York’s criminal code and were created in 1970, three years before the Roe vs. Wade decision. The Reproductive Health Act was one of the first bills Senator Stewart-Cousins sponsored when she first become a State Senator.
“I am grateful for the support from these outstanding organizations who are on the front lines of the fight for women’s rights. This is a pivotal moment for women in this country with President Trump and the US Supreme Court threatening our protections and the New York State Senate Republicans refusing to stand up for women. When New York created its abortion laws in 1970, 12 Republican State Senators voted in favor of women’s choice. But today, in 2018, not a single Republican Senator will cast a vote for the Reproductive Health Act. That’s why it is so crucial that we elect a Democratic State Senate in November. So, I am asking my constituents to please vote for me in the primary on September 13th so that I can continue my advocacy on behalf of women and girls and come next year, make history as the first woman majority leader in the history of New York State,” said Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
“Senator Stewart-Cousins has never backed up or backed down when it comes to fighting for our state’s women and girls. With endless attacks on reproductive rights on the federal level, we must have leaders like Andrea Stewart-Cousins who will fight for the freedoms essential to all New Yorkers. It’s time to elect a senate leader that will give a voice to the voiceless and fight for essential protections to shield us from federal attacks. We need Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins,” said Robin Chappelle Golston, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.
“Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is a consummate champion for reproductive rights and abortion access. She embodies New York values, leading the charge to pass the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, and fighting for the women and families of her district. The NIRH Action Fund PAC is thrilled to endorse Andrea Stewart-Cousins for State Senate,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund PAC.
“At a time of real crisis in America, when the sitting president and anti-choice Republican-controlled Congress are committed to stripping women of all of our constitutional rights to control our own bodies; when the president’s nominee for the US Supreme Court is an outspoken opponent of abortion rights and committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, we must do everything in our power to protect the women of New York. We must stand united with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to make New York State a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary.” Catherine Lederer-Plaskett, Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion PAC.
“NOW is proud to endorse Andrea Stewart-Cousins for State Senate. Andrea is a strong leader and advocate for the women and girls of New York and has NOW’s full support,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYS.
“Andrea Stewart-Cousins has never forgotten why she ran for office: to make a difference for the women and children of Westchester County. Andrea’s vision for New York, funding quality public schools, keeping streets safe with sensible gun laws, and protecting a woman’s reproductive rights, is a vision for a New York where we can all thrive, together. Eleanor’s Legacy is proud to endorse Leader Stewart-Cousins for re-election to the New York State Senate and to be the fearless leader for the women and children of Westchester,” said Brette McSweeney, Director of Eleanor’s Legacy.
Senator Stewart-Cousins’ Record on Women’s Issues
In the face of unrelenting attacks from the Trump Administration, Senator Stewart-Cousins has stood up as one of the strongest advocates for women in New York State. In addition to her leadership on the Reproductive Health Act, Senator Stewart-Cousins has:
- Been a staunch advocate for pay equity in New York State
- Lead the fight to improve New York’s sexual harassment laws
- Played a key role in creating New York’s paid family leave law, the most comprehensive in the nation
- Strongly supported the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act which would improve access to contraceptives for women by requiring insurance companies to cover all FDA approved contraceptive options.SOURCE: Campaign to Re-elect New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins