For Immediate Release: May 9, 2011 Austin Shafran | austinshafran@gmail.

com | 917-417-3711

REMARKS BY SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER JOHN L. SAMPSON AT THE NYS BIPARTISAN PRO-CHOICE LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS & HEALTH INFORMATION FAIR
http://youtu.be/W5Rt0vEwuJY Good afternoon. Let me start by recognizing the outstanding efforts of my friend and colleague, the Chair of the Bi-Partisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus, Senator Liz Krueger. Liz – you have always been a leading voice for reform in the Senate. Pushing, prodding, pulling us along – always moving us forward. I would also like to recognize my other colleagues in the Senate and Assembly joining us today. There is no voice as strong as one spoken in unison by a crowd of people. You should be proud that you have given voice to millions of women throughout New York and across our country. When I was asked to attend this event I said yes because I had no choice – and it wasn’t just because I can’t say no to the persistency of Liz Krueger. When it comes to protecting women’s access to safe, legal, and affordable reproductive services, there is only one choice. When it comes to protecting essential and life-saving health services, there is only one choice. And when it comes to protecting choice for millions of women, there is only one choice and that is Pro-Choice. We are here because there is a War on Women. From State Houses to the House of Representatives, there is a dedicated effort to undermine women’s access to basic, preventive health care services. Under the guise of fiscal emergency an attack has been launched on women’s health. This fight did not start with us, but it will end with us.

We are at the threshold of our future. Only compassion, togetherness, and appealing to the conscience of the greater good will see us through to a brighter day. We will not allow blatant legislative attempts to scale back women’s rights like the Stupak Amendment or the attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood. We will protect reproductive health clinics like those within a few miles of the Capitol to ensure their patients retain their choice and get the quality care they deserve. As an example of what we stand to lose, let me remind you that more than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer is preventive. Every year, they carry out nearly 1 million lifesaving screenings for cervical cancer, and over 800,000 breast exams. Every year they provide contraception to 2.5 million patients, and four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. How can we tell our mothers and grandmothers who fought so hard for generations that we lost the rights they won for us? How can we tell our daughters and those children yet to be born that the world they are coming into is not as safe or as free for choice as the world we were handed? Not on my watch. We will not let them down. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the continuing struggle for reproductive rights. We will continue to fight to protect funding for vital reproductive health services. We will re-double our efforts to meet the health care needs of immigrants and communities of color so New York’s high standard of care becomes the standard of care for all of New York’s women. And we will pass the Reproductive Health Act into law. But for that we are going to need your help because we are going to need a Democratic State Senate. Right now we have an overwhelmingly pro-choice State represented by an anti-choice Senate. That must and that will change to guarantee women’s rights remain a priority. There are times when fights come looking for us and there are times when we look for a fight. To the women of New York – look no further. We are your partner and we will win this fight together. Because when it comes to protecting choice, there is only one choice – and that is Pro-Choice!

Thank You. http://youtu.be/W5Rt0vEwuJY ### Follow on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NYSenDems New York State Senate | MinorityConference.News@nysenate.gov | 518-455-2415

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