For Immediate Release: May 17, 2011 Austin Shafran | austinshafran@gmail.

com | 917-417-3711

REMARKS BY SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER JOHN L. SAMPSON AT THE NARAL PRO-CHOICE NY LOBBY DAY Good morning. Let me start by recognizing NARAL for their outstanding work and tireless commitment to protecting choice. When it comes to protecting access to safe, legal, and affordable reproductive services, 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, an attack has been launched to undermine women’s access to both basic and life-saving health care services. 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 cannot allow anti-choice politicians to scale back women’s rights through legislative attacks like the Stupak Amendment, the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, or the stripping of private insurance coverage for abortion under the guise of Federal Healthcare Reform. We must protect reproductive rights and health clinics to ensure patients retain their choice and get the quality care they deserve. And I am confident that if we continue to work together, we will once again cement New York’s legacy of activism, leadership and advocacy by passing the Reproductive Health Act. It’s not going to be easy, because nothing that truly matters ever is. It’s not going to happen overnight, because nothing that truly matters ever does. Before there was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there was Rosa Parks, who heroically sparked the Alabama bus boycott by refusing to step to the back of the bus.

Before there was Roe v. Wade, there was Griswold v. Connecticut where the Supreme Court ruled the right to privacy existed under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Throughout our history, long journeys have always been preceded by small but significant steps. I am sure we all want to see New York take that next step with the Reproductive Health Act. This is not about political criticism. It’s a public challenge to live up to our responsibility by starting an open and honest debate on this critical legislation. The torch has been passed and the fight to protect the reproductive rights of millions of women has been renewed. It is now up to us, and we will not let this opportunity pass. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the continuing struggle for reproductive rights. Anything less is not worthy of our mothers and grandmothers who fought to win the rights we now enjoy. Anything less is not worthy of our next generation of daughters who deserve a world as safe and as free for choice as the world we were handed. We will not let them down. We are united by a common principle - women’s rights are human rights, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This has been a long struggle, and it only gets harder from here. But when we get there, history will look back on us as another strong link in the chain of time – whose victory was sweeter because we didn’t give up, we never gave in, and we made the right choice. And that is Pro-Choice! Thank You. You Tube Link to Video: ### Follow on Twitter at New York State Senate | | 518-455-2415

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