After the questioning at the federal level of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) by the American Supreme Court, several States are organizing their response. The New York State Senate adopted, on Friday, July 1, “an amendment to codify in the Constitution the rights to abortion and contraception”, according to a press release from this assembly which sits in Albany.
The Senate of the nation’s fourth-most populous, Democratic-majority state passed the amendment with a vote of 49 in favor and 14 against. Republicans were divided on the text, which six of them finally approved.
This text, which will still have to be voted on by the other chamber of the local Congress, the Assembly, then be adopted by a popular referendum before coming into force at the earliest in 2024, also provides for the protection of rights related to “gender , disability, sexual orientation, nationality, community or age”.
Engraving the right to abortion in stone in US state constitutions had begun before the shock Supreme Court ruling on June 24 that ended the federal legal guarantee of abortion nationwide.
A dozen “progressive” states that claim to be abortion “sanctuaries”, particularly in the northeastern and western United States – Vermont, Maryland, California, Washington – have already done so. or are preparing to do so.
“A big step forward for our state while others are stepping back”
“We refuse to sit idly by while the Supreme Court attacks the rights of New Yorkers,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted earlier today.
“The reversal of Roe vs. Wade is clear evidence that New York State must continue to be at the forefront of the nation in protecting women and individual rights,” said Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Chief of the Democratic majority in the New York Senate, cited in the press release.
“This is a big step forward for our state while others are stepping back, and an important stand against the Supreme Court’s attacks on our rights,” she added.
The Roe vs. Wade case, which since 1973 had established the right to abortion everywhere in the United States, was overturned by a now resolutely conservative Supreme Court, after the appointments of conservative judges decided by former President Donald Trump. It is now up to the fifty American states to decide on abortion. Half of them according to the Guttmacher Institute – especially in the South and the Republican, conservative and religious center – have already banned it or are considering doing so.