BUTTING HEADS

06.24.13

Women’s Equality Act Stalls

Although some N.Y. Dems open to legislation without abortion provision.

New York’s ambitious, omnibus Women’s Equality Act, which strengthens protections against domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual harassment, salary discrimination, and discrimination against employees with children, has stalled because of opposition from abortion opponents. There’s disagreement about what the bill would mean for abortion rights: those on the pro-choice side say it would simply codify the rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade in state law, while those against abortion insist it would expand abortion access. Whatever the implications of the abortion provision, until recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his allies have insisted that the final bill include it. Now, though, some Democratic leaders and liberal activists are expressing openness to a version of the bill that leaves abortion out. “The bottom line is the other nine points provide important protections for women in the workplace and in the community, and it’s a disappointment that with such broad support, and such broad bipartisan support, those have yet to become law,” Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said to The New York Times.