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Pass the Women’s Equality Act, Now.

June 18, 2013

Right now, there is a debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about a national ban on all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, no exceptions for a woman’s health, and very narrow exceptions for rape and incest.

Right now, there are demonstrations in the New York State Capitol, blocking Senator Jeffrey Klein’s office.  Senator Klein leads the Independent Democratic Caucus, a four-member group of Democrats who chose to caucus with Republicans rather than fellow Democrats, and also promised progressive advocates votes on everything from the Women’s Equality Act to campaign finance reform to stopping fracking.  Apparently, he is happy to avoid making good on these promises.

Also in New York, the Republican party has taken a stance against the Women’s Equality Act.  Whether it’s because, as they say, “Roe is settled law,” or because they’re drinking the Kool Aid being passed out by the likes of Todd Akin, Chris Smith, Marsha Blackburn, and Trent Franks, I leave you to guess.  (You know who I mean: Members of Congress (or ex member, in Akin’s case) who believe women cannot become pregnant through rape, and will do everything they can to outlaw abortion.)

The 20-week ban in Congress threatens doctors with possible 5-year prison terms.  Here in New York, without the Women’s Equality Act, abortion sits in the criminal code.  In theory, that means if Roe falls, doctors could serve jail time.  It happened before, when abortion was legal – yes, legal.

And Roe is threatened. The North Dakota government has made sure of that.

Tell Congress: Stop the bans now.

And, call this number to get connected to a NYS Senator: 518-455-2800.  Call your NYS Senator.  Call Senator Klein.  Connect to the other members of the IDC, Senators Carlucci, Valesky, Savino.  Call Senator Dean Skelos, who leads the Republicans in the Senate.  Tell all of them: you want a vote on the Women’s Equality Act.  You want the votes we were promised on all the progressive pieces of legislation, from GENDA to fracking to fair elections. 

And remember whatever happens this week in November 2014.

One more thing: We are nonpartisan.  We love moderate Republicans who understand that “small government” does not mean politicians playing doctor.  We love Republicans who believe that decisions about whether to continue a pregnancy, end a pregnancy, or place for adoption must be made by a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider.  We’re looking for some here in New York, so if you see any, let me know… Personally I thought we’d have Senator Phil Boyle or John Bonacic, but apparently not – anyway, we’ll never know with no vote.

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