As the first month of the year winds down, ground is being laid for constitutional revisions. No better place to start than New York! Ever since the Supreme Court turned into the “We Have The Votes” branch and overturned Roe v. Wade, there has been a scramble to protect the right to choose before further erosions take place. New York looks ready to put protections in place. From Ms. Magazine:
Lawmakers in New York will soon vote on an Equal Rights Amendment that explicitly protects reproductive rights. The proposed ERA would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex—defined to include “pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.” If passed, New York would be the first state to explicitly protect reproductive rights in an ERA.
“The reality is that if you can’t make decisions about your reproductive life, you can’t participate equally in the society,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute of Reproductive Health. “Being able to make decisions about pregnancy—whether to continue that pregnancy or not—that’s a core question of equality as well as equity.”
The current New York state constitution does not require equal rights for women. If the ERA passes, New York would become the 28th state to have an ERA protecting women’s rights.
Such passage would also make New York join the 17 states (and D.C.) that have abortion rights enshrined in their constitution. I wouldn’t be surprised if many states bring back the effect of Roe with their ballots, considering that around 60% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. There is something poetic about the counter-majoritarian difficulty getting curbed by the voice of the people.
If you live in New York and want your opinion to be heard, here is a handy link for reaching out to your representatives.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by tweet at @WritesForRent.