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Reproductive Rights and Maternal Health Package Advances Via Senator Webb and Senate Majority

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New York State Senator Lea Webb (SD-52) and the State Senate Majority have advanced their legislation that aims to strengthen reproductive rights and improve maternal health outcomes for all New Yorkers. The advancement in the legislation came on the 51st anniversary of Roe V. Wade decision.

The legislation is a continuation of the state’s work on protecting abortion rights and expanding access to reproductive care throughout the state. Webb’s Office says abortion care is an essential component in the reproductive health continuum. The maternal mortality rate within the U.S. has worsened, according to Webb’s Office, with the maternal mortality rate 3 times higher than other high income nations; with the rate in the U.S. even higher for black women, who are 3 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

“I am extremely proud of the work we are doing to increase access to quality maternal and reproductive health care in New York. We know that these issues disproportionately impact people of color and rural communities, which often experience poor health outcomes. This package of legislation will make sure that everyone gets equitable access to comprehensive healthcare including but not limited to timely prenatal care, safe birthing experiences, comprehensive postpartum care, and reproductive health services. This is another win in New York’s fight for reproductive rights and access, and an important step towards more equitable maternal health care throughout our state.” Senator Webb said in a release.

Crimes of Voter Deception and Suppression: This bill, S263, sponsored by Senator Stewart-Cousins, prohibits deceptive practices and the suppression of voters, and increases penalties for violations of the elective franchise.
The legislation passed by the State Democratic Majority includes:

  • Democracy Preservation Act: This bill, S371, sponsored by Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris would ban political spending by foreign-influenced business entities in New York’s state and local elections.
  • Refreshments at the polls: This bill, S.616, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, allows snacks and non-alcoholic drinks to be given to voters waiting in line at the polls.
  • Doctor John L. Flateau Voting and Elections Database and Academic Center of New York Act: This bill, S657A, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, establishes a New York voting and elections database and an academic center to maintain a statewide database of voting and election data and serve as a research hub.
  • Political Committee Public Website Transparency: This bill, S6675, sponsored by Senator Neil Breslin requires public-facing websites that are operated by political committees to include “paid for by” language.
  • Absentee Ballot Drop-off Box Locations: This bill, S610, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, allows local Board of Elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off locations to provide voters with a convenient alternative option to submit their absentee ballots.
  • Protecting Constitutional Rights: This resolution, B1460, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, rescinds calls for a constitutional convention to protect all existing constitutional rights.
  • Portable Polling Locations: This bill, S242, sponsored by Senator Rachel May, amends the election law to allow counties the option to establish portable polling places for early voting.
  • Ballot Order: This bill, S5943, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis modifies the order in which candidates appear on the ballot in descending order based on the size of the electorate and requires certain federal offices to be listed before state, county, and local offices.
  • Multistate Voter List Maintenance Organizations: This bill, S6173B, sponsored by Senator James Skoufis, authorizes the state board of elections to join a multistate voter list maintenance organization such as the electronic registration information center also known as ERIC.

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