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A judge strikes down the New York abortion rights amendment on November ballots



Rochester, New York – An amendment to New York’s abortion laws that would have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and pregnancy outcomes was removed from the ballot in November.

Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, a Republican from New York State, and I discussed the lawsuit she filed to remove the amendment from the ballot. She asserts that it was illegal to attempt to get it on the ballot.

Due to a procedural error, which involved not obtaining a written opinion from New York State Attorney General Letitia James regarding the proposed change, a Monroe County Supreme Court justice also invalidated the amendment on Tuesday.

“Ironically, how the majority wanted to entertain the process to change the constitution was done in a way that violated the constitution,” Byrnes explained.

According to Byrnes, the proposal did not adhere to the required 72-hour advance notice, which gives legislators time to study the amendment’s contents and decide how to vote on it.

“Why they felt the need to jam it through in a special session in a way they knew violated the constitution, I’ll never understand,” she said.

The amendment would forbid discrimination based on a person’s age, sexual orientation, race, or any other factor; it would not specifically protect a woman’s right to an abortion.
AG James responded by stating in a statement:

The Equal Rights Amendment was advanced to protect New Yorkers’ fundamental rights, including reproductive freedom and access to abortion care. This is a disappointing court decision, but we will appeal.

According to Byrnes, the case had nothing to do with the amendment’s merits.

“This lawsuit is 100 percent against the illegal procedure that was used to try and get it to the voters,” she explained.

Byrnes expressed gratitude to the judge for being able to identify a legal infraction and stated that she firmly anticipates an appeal.