I applaud my Assemblyman, James Skoufis, and the other sponsoring NYS representatives who supported the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Assembly Bill A01748 protects the fundamental right of a woman and her doctor – not politicians - to make private medical decisions.

This bill guarantees women in New York will continue to have the right to control their reproductive health and have access to safe and legal abortion in respect to both the life and health of the mother.

It also guarantees everyone the right to use or refuse contraception.

Further, the bill treats the regulation of abortion in NYS as an issue of public health and medical practice, rather than as a potential crime by moving New York State’s law out of the Penal Code and into Public Health Law where it belongs.

Like me, the vast majority of New Yorkers support safe, accessible and affordable reproductive health care. So last week my family and I marched in the Women’s March in Washington DC with over 1.3 million people. This included over 300 people from Orange County.

The peaceful protest sent a message to elected officials in every state. What started as a single march turned into a global movement as 600 cities held sister marches in cities across the US and worldwide.

The message is to let people know that Americans will protect human rights which are under attack and that we will not tolerate turning back the clock on women’s rights

While the country looks for leadership, I am glad to see New York State acting quickly and taking steps to protect women’s rights. I encourage our elected officials to continue to stand up so that NY remains a leader when it comes to protecting human rights.

Sincerely,

Willa Freiband

Highland Mills