Statement from The Center's Chief Advocacy Officer Shijuade Kadree on Passage of the Reproductive Health Act
January 22, 2019
Today, Shijuade Kadree, Chief Advocacy Officer of The LGBT Community Center, released the following statement reacting to the passage of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA):
“The Center applauds New York State lawmakers for ensuring that New Yorkers have access to safe reproductive care with the passage of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Today, New York State’s abortion laws have been brought into modern times, as the RHA preserves the rights of women and LGBTQ people even as the future of Roe v. Wade remains uncertain.
The Reproductive Health Act mirrors the protections outlined by Roe v. Wade, and updates our state law preserving the right to an abortion from when it was originally passed in 1970. Specifically, the law now allows the termination of a pregnancy when the fetus has no chance of survival and in late-term cases where the pregnant person’s life is threatened. Furthermore, the RHA removes abortion from the criminal code and adds it to the public health code where it belongs, meaning pregnant people and health providers are not subject to criminal consequences for accessing necessary care.
LGBTQ rights and reproductive justice movements have long been intertwined, as our shared fight for self-determination, such as having the choice to plan families and raise children, has required breaking down barriers to accessing a full range of affirming health services. Seeing providers who affirm rather than pathologize sexual orientation and gender identity necessarily empowers LGBTQ people to make healthy, informed decisions about our bodies and our future, including our reproductive health.
The Center has been proud to advocate for several years for the passage of the RHA through RiseOut, our statewide advocacy initiative that works to advance progressive, LGBTQ-affirming policies and legislation in partnership with organizations like Planned Parenthood and other allies around New York State. Working together to secure the passage of the RHA marks a significant victory for our coordinated and collaborative advocacy. Legislation like the RHA will empower those LGBTQ community members with reproductive health needs to live more autonomous lives. We will continue to work tirelessly until all LGBTQ people feel that their personal liberty is affirmed and protected.”