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Cuomo Meets With Women's Groups To Get Started On Equality Agenda

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with women's groups Thursday to start working on the women's equality agenda he outlined in his State of the State speech. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Just a day after his State of the State message, Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with women's groups to begin advancing a ten-point plan to help women in New York state.

"Women across the state, who have worked on maybe a dozen different issues, all agree on the same agenda," said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick. "Unprecedented."

The women's equality proposals include equal pay in the workplace, strengthening human trafficking laws, ending pregnancy discrimination and updating the laws governing abortion rights.

New York's abortion law predates the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

"What we are doing is fixing a troubling gap that we have right now," Tracey Brooks from Family Planning Advocates said. "New York's abortion laws are in the criminal code, we don't have an express health exception, we use the federal health exemption and it puts women and families in very difficult situations."

During his speech, the governor showed a video of two babies, a boy and a girl. It highlighted the statistical inequalities between men and women as those children grow older.

The governor's push for women's equality caused some newspapers to write that the governor is taking a leftward turn in his governing style. Cuomo said he disagrees with that analysis.

"Last year they wrote I made a right turn, this year they wrote I made a left turn," Cuomo said. "I think I have been going straight all along."

Some of these initiatives may prove more difficult than others.

The outcome of a still contested Senate race will determine if Republicans will have a simple majority in the state Senate to block the Reproductive Health Act, which they have previously opposed.

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