Plan To Mark Roe v. Wade Anniversary Meets Resistance In State Senate
Democratic lawmakers in Albany wanted to mark this week's 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision but ran into some resistance in the state Senate. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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ALBANY - The state Senate was in session this week, and on Thursday, the upper house passed resolutions. But one resolution sought by Democrats honoring the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal, was noticeably absent.
"Unfortunately, our resolution was not put on the resolution calendar," said Manhattan State Senator Liz Krueger. "I never heard anything officially as to why it did not show up on the calendar."
The state Senate is run by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats. The leader of those five Democrats, Jeff Klein, who must approve the resolution calendar declined to speak with NY1 on camera, but he did issue a statement.
"The Senate does not vote on resolutions urging support or recognition of a party platform, regardless of ideology," Klein's statement read. "The Senate rules are very clear about that."
But a similar resolution honoring Roe v. Wade passed the Assembly with ease.
"It's important to mark that anniversary," said Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick. "It continues to be a controversial issue, inexplicably, but people have strong feelings."
Advocates for women's health are hoping a bill strengthening abortion rights is passed this year.
Klein's support will be needed, since the mainline democrats don't have enough votes to pass it themselves. Some insiders say Klein didn't want to provoke his Republican co-leader in the Senate with a Roe v. Wade resolution.
"It's a disappointment," Glick said. "It's not a shock, but it perhaps indicates the difficulty of having the coalition."
"It's not at all unusual at all for this Senate to pass resolutions recognizing important issues, important laws, important precedents at the federal level and the state level."
The Senate did manage to pass a handful of resolutions on Thursday, including one commemorating the 60th anniversary of the lion's club in Rome, New York, and several honoring individuals who have reached the rank of Eagle Scout.