Warns of the threat posed to Women’s Reproductive Health
September 4, 2018 (Penfield, NY) — Jen Lunsford, Democratic Candidate for State Senate, 55th District, calls for bold action to block the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. “The threat to women’s health cannot be understated,” said Lunsford.
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court places women’s health issues and reproductive rights at the forefront this election cycle. Robin Chapelle Golston, president of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, believes Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned if Kavanaugh is appointed to the Court. "I definitely think that is a serious threat," Chappelle Golston said, "I mean, Trump pledged to nominate a nominee that would overturn - or be willing to overturn - Roe v Wade, so we think that is a total possibility."(1)
In New York State, the nomination of Kavanaugh by Donald Trump mobilized activists around the Reproductive Health Act,(2) a bill which seeks to codify the protections offered by Roe v. Wade and its progeny at the state level. Lunsford called for immediate passage of the bill, “New York’s reproductive health laws are woefully outdated. Passed in 1970, three years before Roe, New York still regulates abortion through the penal law, rather than the public health law. The New York law offers no protections for abortions performed to protect the health of the woman. At this moment, some women are forced to fly across the country to obtain abortions that threaten their health, or in cases involving fatal genetic abnormalities. We must take action now to protect New York families before Roe is overturned. We must pass the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act.”
Lunsford’s opponent in the upcoming election is Senator Rich Funke, who has publicly opposed any attempt to secure a woman’s right to choose since he first ran for office in 2014. In a television interview with Time Warner News, Funke was asked about the 10th provision of the Women’s Equality Act, which sought to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade. He responded: “ …[T]here are laws on the books in the state of New York….And there are protections for women within the framework of those laws. Codifying Roe v. Wade takes away all those restrictions, and all those protections. I don’t think that’s a good thing in terms of women’s health.”(3)
According to Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, “The RHA has been the subject of much misinformation. This legislation will not force any hospital or individual to provide abortion, it will not allow unqualified persons to provide abortion, and it will not prevent the state from regulating abortion to ensure its safety.”(4) Considering his past rhetoric, Lunsford observes, “This narrative pushed by Senator Funke demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Reproductive Health Act seeks to accomplish, which is to preserve and protect the rights of women in the State of New York to access quality reproductive healthcare.” Lunsford has been endorsed by the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund PAC and Eleanor’s Legacy, two prominent organizations that support pro-choice women candidates.
Andrea Miller, president of NIRHA Fund PAC, said: “Jen Lunsford understands how important reproductive rights are and is ready to fight for the people of the 55th District in Albany. Her opponent, on the other hand, opposed legislation to protect New Yorkers’ abortion rights and contraception access. Jen embodies the values of her constituents.”
“New York needs to commit to having a productive dialogue on all of the issues that matter to voters, including reproductive health. We deserve much better than what we have been getting from our State Senate. I am honored to have the endorsement of NIRH and Eleanor’s Legacy, and look forward to working with them as we look forward to passing the Reproductive Health Act in New York once and for all.” said Lunsford.