ALBANY – Supporters of the Reproductive Health Act cheered after it was passed in the New York State Senate Tuesday and, soon thereafter, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law.
Not everyone in Albany, however, believed the new law is good.
Those in favor said the law is a big win for New Yorkers as the bill moves abortion into the health arena instead of listing it under criminal laws.
New York State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell voted against the bill.
Goodell told WNYNewsNow that the new law removes a number of provisions that protected the unborn. The Assemblyman said that he is currently working on drafting the bill to bring back protections the old law allowed.
“I’ve already met with another legislator to move forward on a bill that would increase the criminal sanctions that would apply if a pregnant woman were attacked and her baby were killed,” said Goodell. “In my opinion, it’s nothing to celebrate when you eliminate criminal protections for the unborn child and eliminate the health and safety provisions that protect women.”
Under the new law, Goodell said if a woman was attacked and her baby died, the only charge that could be filed is assault.
The Assemblyman is disappointed in supporters of the Reproductive Health Act for not keeping those protections.
New York State Senator Cathy Young released a statement to WNYNewsNow with reaction to the law’s passage.
Young said she, like Goodell, is already working on adding further protections for women.
“It is unconscionable to think that anyone would deprive a pregnant domestic violence victim the justice she deserves. A victim’s attacker must be charged with every single count possible. The horrific, sheer brutality of the crime committed against Liv Abreu should never be experienced by an expectant mother. Liv’s attacker snatched from her a time of joy and for that, he should pay the full price. The ‘Liv Act’ corrects a serious injustice and ensures that anyone who inflicts violence on a pregnant woman will be charged to the fullest extent of the law,” said Senator Young.
The ‘Liv Act,’ named after the military paratrooper who was 26 weeks pregnant when her ex-boyfriend stabbed her six times and caused the loss of her wanted daughter, addresses an area in the Reproductive Health Act (S240) which strikes from New York State Law criminal charges applied to perpetrators who commit acts of violence against pregnant women.
Young said the Liv Act establishes the crime of assault on a pregnant woman by expressly recognizing that violence against pregnant women is a felony.
The bill would apply when there is violence done to a pregnant woman, even if it does not involve the loss of her pregnancy.