Why? Because New York State is a pro-choice state with the vast majority of voters supporting comprehensive reproductive rights, which includes abortion. Eighty percent of New Yorkers support the passage of the Reproductive Health Act “which is aimed at protecting reproductive freedom for women, ensuring a woman’s right to make private health care decisions regarding pregnancy. At least two-thirds of voters from every party, region and demographic group support it, with the exception of self-identified conservatives who support it 64-29 percent.” Sienna Research Institute
Jeff Klein, immediately after being re-elected to the New York State Senate to represent SD 34 (Pelham and part of Mount Vernon and the Bronx), aligned himself with the Republican anti-choice extremist Dean Skelos. Klein claimed it was an act of independence. In reality, it was a power-grab by a self-absorbed, egocentric politician who thought it was more important to enhance his own personal power than to stand up for women who elected him and make up his constituency.
Unfortunately, Klein would rather stand with Skelos than with the women of New York—and Klein doesn’t care that by doing so, he, Klein, is empowering and advancing an anti-choice agenda.
And then we have Michael Kaplowitz who was just re-elected to represent CLD 4 (New Castle and parts of Yorktown, and Somers). Kaplowitz has had his eye on being Westchester County Board Chairman for years. So, as soon as he was re-elected, Kaplowitz went to the anti-choice legislators with whom he had voted to pass the 2012 budget that gutted funding to community health centers, food pantries and senior nutrition programs, and dramatically raised the cost of childcare, to negotiate his deal. Kaplowitz agreed to support Jim Maisano (who voted against ensuring safe access to reproductive health care clinics) for the position of Westchester County Board Vice – Chairman and to appoint Sheila Marcotte (who opposes abortion rights even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman) as Budget Committee Chairperson in exchange for making Kaplowitz the new Westchester County Board Chairman.
Kaplowitz single-handedly empowered the anti-choice minority on the Board at the expense of women throughout Westchester County. Now this minority can work with Westchester’s right-to-life extremist County Executive who has already imprinted an anti-choice agenda on his administration – ending sex education funding, receiving awards for abstinence-only program support and vetoing the most basic of rights, safe access to reproductive health care. Kaplowitz, personally, has empowered this County Executive zealot, Rob Astorino, who called abortion “a straw man” as he prepares to run for governor.
These men – Klein and Kaplowitz – are just two examples of politicians who have betrayed our trust, pretending to be our allies while working against us. They made promises to the pro-choice majority and are reneging. They are hurting us on the local and state levels, and they think we are not smart enough to see through their charade.
But I know they’re wrong because we have you — and it’s your commitment, your unwavering dedication to protecting women’s health and rights that will make the difference this year. Please, make your gift right now.