ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Kathy Hochul is asking the New York State legislature to cement the right to an abortion into the State Constitution.
In a Tweet Friday morning, Hochul said she is issuing a proclamation to add equal rights to the current legislature's extraordinary session.
In a statement, Hochul said the move is a direct reaction to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
"Recent Supreme Court rulings have threatened the rights of New Yorkers to make decisions about their own bodies and our right to protect New Yorkers from gun violence, but we refuse to stand idly by, and we must act. I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for working through the day and night on these bold actions in response to these reckless Supreme Court decisions. We will enact legislation to strengthen our laws on concealed carry weapons, and building on our nation-leading protections for abortion patients and providers, New York State will take an unprecedented step toward enshrining the fundamental right to abortion access into our State Constitution. Let me be clear: We will do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers."
If the measure is passed in the extraordinary session, it would not go into effect right away. According to the New York State Constitution, if the measure is adopted it would head to State Attorney General Letitia James' desk for legal review. From there it would head back to the legislature to be formally passed, before heading on the ballot for the next general election. If voted through with a simple majority, the measure would be added to the State Constitution and take effect the following January 1.
The current New York State Constitution was adopted in 1895, and has been amended 204 times. Since 1996, 17 Constitutional amendments have been made.
The extraordinary session was initially convened to rework gun laws after the Supreme Court struck down New York State's concealed carry law.
State lawmakers are now working to draft new legislation on where concealed carry will not be allowed in the state, as well as strengthening red flag laws, safe storage laws and rules for buying ammunition.
Senators representing Western New York are divided on the strengthened laws.
Needed a walk after a long day of meetings and discussions.
Big problems to solve, and more special session work to do.