New York lawmakers decide to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution

Friday’s passage of the amendment is the first step toward adding the language to the New York Constitution. Lawmakers will have to vote again to pass the amendment in the next legislative session next year, and then voters will have to vote to pass it in a referendum before it can go into effect.

The wording of the amendment specifically mentions the protection of rights related to pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive health care and autonomy.

It reads in part as follows: « No person shall, by reason of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, age, disability, creed [or]religion or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, health care and reproductive autonomy, do the subject to any discrimination in [his or her] their civil rights by any other person or by any firm, company or institution, or by the State or any agency or subdivision of the State, according to law. »

The state Senate passed Amendment 49-14 on Friday and the state Assembly passed Amendment 98-43 later that evening.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters at a press conference earlier Friday that enshrining the right to abortion in the state constitution « is going to protect reproductive health in the state. » of New York for generations to come ».

Hochul called the legislature into special session this week to begin the process of enshrining abortion rights as well as passing another bill restricting the concealed carry of weapons in New York. Both came in response to recent US Supreme Court rulings.

The High Court in recent days overruled Roe v. Wade, as well as another landmark case regarding restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home in the state.

This story was updated with additional details on Friday.

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