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NY State Assembly Member and NYC Public Advocate Candidate Michael Blake Statement on Passage of Reproductive Health Act

“Proud to have co-sponsored” legislation codifying roe v. wade into new york state law"

January 22, 2019

New York, NY -- On Tuesday, the New York State Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act, legislation co-sponsored by Assembly Member and Candidate for New York City Public Advocate Michael Blake, officially codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and guaranteeing every woman has the ability to make the personal family planning decisions that are best for her and her family.

Following the passage of the legislation, Blake said, "Today, as we celebrate the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, New York State finally addresses a key discrepancy between state and federal law that supports a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices. As an Assembly Member, a faith leader and a feminist, I have never wavered in my support of a woman's right to choose. I am proud to have co-sponsored and voted on this bill."

"Having agency over one's body is a fundamental right. As leaders, it is not enough to simply say, 'I stand with women' -- we must show it. As Public Advocate, I will continue to fight for access to safe and affordable reproductive health care for all New Yorkers," said Blake.

The Reproductive Health Act would fix a troubling gap in New York's abortion law. New York reformed its abortion law in 1970, three years before the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade. While New York's current abortion statute allows abortion throughout a pregnancy when necessary to preserve a woman's life, the statute does not allow abortion care after 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy to preserve a woman's health or in cases of fetal non-viability.

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New York State Assembly Member and Candidate for New York City Public Advocate Michael Alexander Blake has been elected to represent the 79th District in The Bronx for a third term. Born and raised in The Bronx to Jamaican Immigrants, Blake has helped lead the efforts to create the first and only statewide My Brother’s Keeper education program in the country and helped lead the charge to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility.

As a member of the Housing committee, he has fought to increase funding for New York City public housing and been a consistent advocate for affordable housing, rent stabilization and pushing back against gentrification. Blake has championed legislation for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and fought for democracy reform throughout the State of New York and the country.

Previously, Blake served as Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama. He has helped expand the electorate nationwide through his work in President Obama’s campaigns and in his current role as one of the Democratic National Committee Vice Chairs. Blake is also a lay minister, a Rodel Fellow in the Aspen Institute and a former Harvard Institute of Politics Resident Fellow.