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New York Legislature Aims to Reform Sex-Ed, Abortion Laws

New York state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith announced goals establishing sex-education programs and reforming the state’s abortion laws as priorities for the next legislative session. Smith specifically expressed support of the Healthy Teens Act (see PDF) and the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act (see PDF), according to the Gotham Gazette. The Healthy Teens Act was passed by a Democrat-controlled state assembly in each of the past four sessions, but was blocked in the then Republican-controlled state Senate. This legislation would create a grant program that would support medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education programs in public schools and community organizations. The Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act has not passed either legislative house, but would codify in New York law the principles that underlie Roe v. Wade. Democrats now hold a slim majority in the New York Senate and will need bi-partisan support to move either bill forward, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Sources:

Gotham Gazette 1/12/09; Get the Facts NY Healthy Teens Act Factsheet; Poughkeepsie Journal 1/12/09; NARAL NY Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act Fact Sheet

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