Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Monday that he plans to push for an amendment to add the rights established by the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade to the New York Constitution.
In announcing the plan during a "I Stand With Planned Parenthood" event hosted by Family Planning Advocates, the lobbying arm of Planed Parenthood in New York, Cuomo said he would seek to solidify women's right to an abortion in the state in the event that a future Supreme Court should overturn the controversial decision.
"As you know, our rights are under attack in Washington," Cuomo, adorned in a pink scarf, said at the Albany event. "And as they seek to limit women's rights, we in New York seek to protect them. As they pull on women's rights, we're going to push back on women's rights."
"And as they threaten this nation with a possible Supreme Court nominee who will reverse Roe v. Wade, I want them to know today if that's what they do, we're going to protect Roe v. Wade in the state of New York," the governor continued to cheering. "I proposed today a constitutional amendment to write Roe v. Wade into the New York state Constitution so that nobody can change it."
Cuomo added that his proposal should be "put on the ballot" for New Yorkers to vote on.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to unveil his pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court Tuesday evening. While campaigning for the presidency, Trump said he is anti-abortion and promised to appoint a judge who would overturn the 1973 decision.
Roe v. Wade is considered to be a landmark Supreme Court decision for women's and reproductive rights activists. The decision legalized abortion nationwide.
New York first legalized abortion as a state in 1970.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards complimented Cuomo's announcement in a statement Monday as she argued that the majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade.
"At a time when access to reproductive rights is under attack, we are grateful to champions across the nation who stand with the 2.5 million patients Planned Parenthood health centers care for with a whole range of health services, from birth control and cancer screenings to yes, safe and legal abortion," Richards said. "New Yorkers, like all Americans, deserve access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care."
Richards was most likely referring to a January poll from Pew Research Center which found that nearly seven in 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
Cuomo's proposal won't be easy or quick to pass. In New York, two different state legislatures would need to approve the proposal before it is sent to voters. The earliest this could proposal could pass is 2019.
In a statement to TheBlaze, the New York state Republican Party said:
The governor's desire to make abortion legal through the ninth month of pregnancy is so out of the mainstream and was wisely blocked by common sense lawmakers last year. Andrew Cuomo is desperate to position himself on the national stage with hyperbolic rhetoric, but here in New York his administration is embroiled in corruption and dysfunction. New Yorkers are fleeing the state under his policies.