ALBANY, NY (WENY) — During a week that would have marked the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the New York State legislature took another step to protect abortion access, voting for a second time to codify abortion in the state constitution.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said this legislative action is important to protect New Yorker’s rights.
“We will enshrine these rights not just in law but in the constitution of the state of New York, the ERA. We’re gonna do it again, we’re not gonna finish until we get that over the finish line. We’re not going to stop. We’re not going to stop,” Hochul said.
The Equal Rights Amendment was first passed in the legislature in July of 2022 during a special session. To make a codification to the state constitution, it has to be passed twice in the legislature and then go to the public for a vote.
Tuesday, advocates traveled from all over the state to rally for this amendment, including some teenagers who filed permission slips to miss school and rally at the New York State capitol.
17-year-old Lauren Mazzarelli and Morgan O’Malley each traveled over two hours from their homes and missed school because to them this issue is worth fighting for.
“It’s just a great opportunity to try and meet with legislators and try to make change that’s important to me before I can even vote,” O’Malley said.
Mazzarelli, who missed her advance placement government class to rally, said to her this is an issue of great impact.
“I think having it be officially codified would be really important because we know that then that right is protected in the state,” she said.
The assembly voted 94-45 and the senate voted 42-20, now sending the amendment to the 2024 election ballot.
Mazzarelli and O’Malley said they are excited to vote for the first time, come the 2024 election, on an issue that is so important to them.