Politicker: Senate Democrats to Focus on Women’s Rights for 2012 Campaigns

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

By Colin Campbell
Politicker NY | The New York Observer

The Democrats in the New York State are placing a special emphasis on issues pertaining to women as they attempt to retake the majority, insiders have suggested. “Women’s issues, from reproductive health and rights in the workplace, are something that we’ll be focusing on,” a source familiar with the Senate Democrats’ efforts said. “One thing that’s been made clear is that people who live in Democratic districts that vote for Republican Senators, don’t have a clue how conservative these guys are…on social issues.”

“You dig into these districts at the micro level — everyone’s talking about these broad concepts,” the source added. “Oftentimes it’s issues that are very important.” Echoing this sense of importance, Senate Democrats recently posted video of Minority Leader John Sampson speaking at Family Planning Advocacy Day.

Most frequently cited among the specific issues is the Reproductive Health Act. “It’s the critical legislation that New York needs,” State Senator Liz Krueger argued, focusing on legislative advocacy instead of the Senate Democrats’ electoral efforts.

“Most states recognize that reproductive health are health decisions…Here in New York State, something we have is that a doctor committing an abortion is not a criminal act,” she explained, noting that Governor Cuomo mentioned the legislation in his State of the State address last week. “New York is proud to have passed reproductive rights legislation before Roe v. Wade, but we never passed modernizing legislation.”

Senator Krueger also cited pay equity legislation, saying that the Senate Democrats have “been carrying this law for years without the support of Republicans in the Senate.” And, unlike in the State Assembly, Ms. Krueger says she “can’t find one Senate Republican who says that they are pro-choice.”

Watch the video of Minority Leader Sampson speaking  about Senate Democrats’ efforts on reproductive rights: