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Women's Equality Act Proposal Draws Much Attention

One of several proposals in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State-of-the-State Speech Wednesday includes a Women’s Equality Act, a ten-point agenda that includes protecting a woman’s freedom of choice by enacting the Reproductive Health Act. And Cuomo made it clear Thursday that he will give the same high-octane effort he gave the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011 which remains the capstone of his progressive agenda. The Democrat says he's also deciding to disagree with Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who urged Cuomo not to expand abortion rights. 

That was Governor Cuomo during his speech Wednesday.

Dennis Poust is the spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference.

Andrea Miller says New York is one of the more liberal states when it comes to abortion rights. However, Miller, who is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, says the Reproductive Health Act is necessary.

In addition, says Miller:

Dennis Poust says the voices of the Catholic Church in the Empire State will take many steps to prevent a Women’s Equality Act that includes freedom of choice with regard to reproductive health.

There are other aspects to the governor’s Women’s Equality Act, including stopping pregnancy discrimination; eliminating sexual harassment in all workplaces; further protecting domestic violence victims; and strengthening human trafficking laws. Also part of the 10-point agenda is a measure to achieve pay equity. Yet there is something tied in with pay equity that Miriam Cohen says is missing.

Cohen, who teaches modern women’s history at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, says issues of equity in the workplace really have to do with how all members of society try and balance work and family.

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