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Assemblywoman Addie Russell. Photo: Russell campaign "palmcard"
Assemblywoman Addie Russell. Photo: Russell campaign "palmcard"

Russell: Senate should vote on reproductive rights

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After hours of emotional debate, the New York State Assembly passed the 10-point Women's Equality Act Thursday. It includes measures on equal pay, sexual harassment, and reproductive rights.

It's that last part, that codifies a woman's right to have an abortion, that's stalling the bill in the upper chamber. The State Senate is expected to take up only nine points of the bill today, excluding abortion.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

This angers Assembly member Addie Russell of Theresa. Russell says the Senate and Assembly already agreed it would be a 10 point bill.

"We feel it is acting in bad faith to split up a bill that was negotiated as a whole, and then try to cherry pick which provisions you really wanted. If they didn't want them, during negotiations, they should have said it at that point."

Russell, who is a Democrat, says the Senate Democratic leadership is excluding reproductive rights from the bill to appease anti-abortion lawmakers.

"I really think that people should go on record. And if you're anti-choice and you think that that's what your constituents want, than you should have no problem voting on this bill. We're down to the wire, and I think the people deserve a vote on this issue."

Russell spoke with Susan Arbetter on the Capital Press Room.

Friday is supposed to be the last day of the legislative session. The Albany Times Union reports that the Senate has at least 75 bills to consider, among them, nine points of the Women's Equality Act. The Assembly would need to pass matching legislation for it to become law. Assembly leaders maintain that the bill must include all 10 points.

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