ALBANY—A bill that would strengthen abortion rights in New York was defeated by one vote in the State Senate health committee on Tuesday.
The Reproductive Health Act, a controversial bill that Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has carried for several years, updates the state’s existing laws regarding abortion to be consistent with federal protections. Opponents of the bill, chiefly conservative Republicans and the Catholic Church, argue that the legislation amounts to an extreme expansion of abortion rights in a state that leads the country in the procedure.
After its defeat in the committee by a 9-8 vote, the bill will not come to the Senate floor. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, a 10-point package of women’s rights legislation, includes a similar provision.