Handmaid’s Tale’ Protesters Demand New York State Senate Codify Access to Reproductive Health Care in State Law

CONTACT: Christie Petrone, 646-520-3504, [email protected]

Protesters from the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Take Over New York State Capitol in Final Days of Session

ALBANY, NY – Protesters dressed as “handmaids” from Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale demonstrated throughout the New York State Capitol to demand the Senate bring the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) and Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) to the floor for a vote. Protests will continue Tuesday, June 20 through the end of session on Wednesday, June 21.

“In January, Governor Cuomo promised the women of New York that their reproductive rights would always be protected here,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “It’s time for the State to live up to this promise. We have support for these bills in New York; the State Senate majority, led by Sen. John Flanagan, needs to bring the Reproductive Health Act to the floor for a vote and protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”

The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a society in which women are powerless, valued only for their ability to reproduce. Activists dressed as the oppressed fictional women have been storming state legislatures in Texas and Ohio this session to protest their representatives’ hostility toward reproductive rights. Now, despite New York’s progressive reputation, the New York Senate has failed to take action and protect New Yorkers against the attacks on abortion and contraception on the federal level – so the “handmaids” have taken to Albany.

By passing the RHA and CCCA, New York has an opportunity to protect access to contraception in New York, update New York’s decades-old abortion law, and lead the nation forward by enshrining in state law the right to abortion and access to the full range of contraception, regardless of what happens federally.