At a press conference today, Christine Quinn and a host of fellow elected officials–including all of the top contenders for mayor–called on Republicans in the State Senate to withdraw their opposition a bill that would expand abortion rights in New York State.
That bill, called the Reproductive Health Act would, among other things, taking abortion out of the criminal code and put it in the health code. The bill would also permit abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy if the mother’s health is deemed to be at risk. Under current law, an abortion after 24th week is only legal if the life of the mother is at risk.
Asked if she would favor any restriction on the right to an abortion, Ms. Quinn said no–in fairly graphic terms.
“I don’t think there should be restrictions on abortion. I think it is a personal decision. I think a woman has a right to chose and reproductive health care decisions are personal and they should not be limited by government or by the law. Look, reproductive health decisions are medical decisions and if I am making a decision about getting pregnant, terminating a pregnancy, about a lung condition I might have, a kidney condition I might have. ”
Here she paused, asking the audience to “give me an organ,” and then continued, “A liver condition I might have, I don’t want the City Council speaker, the mayor, the governor the president, the congress, I don’t want anybody involved in my uterus, my vagina, my liver, my kidney, my lung. None of it. It is mine and I am going to get the best medical people to advise me on it. Period.
This statement was met with cheers by the advocates present, and after she made the statement, Jamie McShane, her press secretary standing somewhat uncomfortably nearby, asked if there were any other questions.
“Any other body parts you want to talk about?” Ms. Quinn asked.
Afterwards, The Politicker followed up with Ms. Quinn’s staff to ask if in fact she favored no restrictions on abortion, including late third trimester abortions, and they pointed us to the speaker’s earlier statement and said that she believes abortion is best left to a woman and her doctor.