In 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the Women’s Equality Act (WEA), a bundled package of ten gender-related bills that included a radical abortion expansion bill. The governor and the Democratic leadership in the Assembly adopted an all-or-nothing strategy regarding the passage of this bundled bill. In light of this strategy, it was necessary that we oppose the bundled bill while indicating that we supported the other nine issues and opposed only the abortion expansion issue.
On March 15, The Wall Street Journal reported a shift in tactics on the bundled bill and that the Governor and the Democratic-led Assembly were backing off of the all-or-nothing strategy in favor of a partial victory and are setting their sights on other issues that are important to women. Each of the ten items in the governor’s original bill has become a stand-alone bill. This effectively kills the abortion expansion because even if the Assembly were to pass the stand-alone abortion expansion bill, it could not become law at this time because the Senate opposes the stand-alone abortion expansion bill.
This shift is yielding good results for the state. On March 16, the Assembly voted unanimously to pass the first of these stand-alone bills, a measure which would protect victims of human trafficking.
The Senate had already split the governor’s Women’s Equality Act (WEA) into separate bills and has already passed the human trafficking bill as well as most of the individual bills and continues to oppose the abortion expansion component.
We applaud the passage of this bill by both the Assembly and the Senate. When signed into law, New York State will have taken a giant step toward helping to eliminate its scourge of human trafficking from the state. This is clearly a victory of policy over politics.
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