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Why New Yorkers Should Vote “Yes” on Proposal 1

The proposal, formerly known as the New York Equal Rights Amendment, will be on the ballot in November.

By: Nora Brickner Equal Rights Amendment Campaign Director

Across the country, politicians are restricting people’s rights and freedoms, including the right to abortion and the right for all of us to be who we are.

Since Roe v. Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court, twenty-one states have either banned or restricted abortion care. There’s a full-blown assault on trans people’s rights, with hundreds of anti-trans bills introduced — and many passed — in state legislatures across the country just this year.

We might like to think we’re safe from these attacks here in New York, but the truth is there are dangerous loopholes in our state constitution that leave us vulnerable to the whims of politicians. And though we have strong laws protecting us from discrimination, we know that laws aren’t enough, because they can be easily changed, as we’ve seen time and again in recent years as political winds shift.

When we enshrine a right in the state constitution, we protect it from political attacks. In 2022, Lee Zeldin, a staunchly anti-abortion politician, came within six percentage points of becoming our governor. In the State legislature, pro-choice leaders have only controlled both chambers for eight of the past 58 years. In fact, it was only in 2019 that New York finally removed abortion from the homicide code and began to regulate it under health law.

That’s why we need Proposal 1, or what has been previously called the New York Equal Rights Amendment, which will protect our rights and reproductive freedoms — including the right to abortion. Proposal 1 will keep New Yorkers — not politicians — in charge of our personal decisions and will enshrine equal rights into our state constitution.

Prop 1 will be a critical tool for all New Yorkers to exercise their rights. That’s why powerful, well-funded, anti-abortion forces are working hard to defeat it, even before voters get a chance to pass it. We got good news in June when the New York Appellate Court overruled a baseless attempt by anti-abortion operatives to boot Prop 1 off the ballot.

But our opponents won’t stop trying to roll back our rights. They are dead set on doing everything they can to keep Proposal 1 from passing, and they will be back with more attacks soon.

This isn’t new: anti-abortion extremists are using the same playbook in New York that they are using across the country – using the court system to try  to roll back our rights, because they know protecting abortion rights is popular at the ballot box.

Despite these attacks, we’re not backing down. In fact, we’re working even harder alongside New Yorkers for Equal Rights to make sure every New Yorker knows to vote YES for Prop 1 in November.

We are in the early stages of launching our massive voter contact effort. We will be out in communities across the state knocking on doors, phone banking, texting, emailing, and doing everything we possibly can to get Prop 1 across the finish line in November.

But to do all that, we need your help. Please join our campaign to pass Prop 1 and enshrine equal rights into our state constitution. This November, we must make sure all New Yorkers’ rights are protected.

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Civil Liberties Union