I am writing to express my support for the Women’s Agenda as part of the New York State budget for the coming fiscal year. At a time in our country when protections for health and reproductive services are uncertain, it is vital that these provisions pass in the budget.
The Women’s Agenda includes improving access to contraception, for example requiring insurance companies to cover all forms of birth control without cost sharing, decriminalizing abortion, preventing maternal mortality, and advancing comprehensive sex education in our schools. Currently, abortion care is still in the penal code. Passing the Women’s Agenda would mean repealing it from the criminal code. Our maternal mortality rate is too high, the Agenda proposes a Maternal Mortality Review Board to identify causes of maternal mortality and recommend prevention strategies that can save women’s lives and eliminate health care disparities. The Agenda also proposes a requirement that the State Education Commissioner establish a “Be Aware-Be Informed” program and to create a model comprehensive sex education curriculum. This program should be implemented in our state’s public schools.
I am urging all of our state legislators to pass the proposed Women’s Agenda in full as part of the state budget. These are lifesaving and life changing provisions.