National Committee for a Human Life Amendment

New York

In New York, a constitutional amendment needs to be passed in both chambers of the state legislature during two consecutive sessions to be referred to the ballot. A resolution to amend the state constitution was passed by the full state legislative body in 2022 and again in 2023 and was set to go to the voters on the 2024 November ballot.

The proposal would amend the New York constitution to prohibit the denial of rights to an individual based on their ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, as well as their sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.  The current language of the Equal Protection Clause in the New York constitution prohibits the denial of rights to a person based on “race, color, creed, or religion.”

According to a New York government website, “Abortion access is available for New Yorkers and for those coming from outside of New York State.  In New York, you can get an abortion up to and including 24 weeks of pregnancy. After 24 weeks, you can still get an abortion if your health or pregnancy is at risk.”

On May 7, 2024, a ruling came down from a New York State Supreme Court judge that the multifaceted measure cannot appear on the ballot this November due to a procedural error.  According to Associated Press, State Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Doyle “found lawmakers incorrectly approved the language before getting a written opinion from the attorney general,” therefore determining that the proposed amendment could not be placed on the ballot.

That decision was then overturned by the New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department.  On June 18, the state appellate court reversed the lower court and restored the amendment to the November ballot.

Visit the NY Catholic Conference for information on helping moms in need.