New York Legislative Session Ends with No Women’s Equality Act

The 2013 New York state legislative session adjourned Friday, and the Women’s Equality Act did not make it into law, after some members of the assembly refused to approve a version of the legislation that excluded language codifying the legal right to abortion in the state.

One of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislative priorities for the session, the 10-point Women’s Equality Act was designed to increase protections for victims of abuse, take steps toward pay equity, and ensure that abortion rights would be upheld in the state if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. The legislation passed the state assembly last week by a wide majority, but as expected the bill stalled in the state senate, where Republicans and a handful of Democrats vowed not to support the bill unless the reproductive rights language was removed.

The senate passed the other nine pieces of the bill, but when it was returned to the assembly for approval the body balked, refusing to allow a vote on what some claimed would be a watered down version of the legislation. “In consultation with the women members of the Legislature who are driving the train on this … we will have a dialogue with the governor on how to proceed,” said Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after the session adjourned, according to the Associated Press.

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