A member of the New York City Council is taking a stand against employer discrimination. New York Daily Newsreports that Council-member Jumaane Williams will introduce a bill that would amend New York City’s Human Rights Law to protect against employment injustice based on “sexual and reproductive health decisions.”
New York Daily News reports that this includes birth control, emergency contraception, fertility treatments, family planning, pregnancy tests, abortions, and HIV testing and counseling.
“Protecting against this discrimination is an urgent necessity, especially in the time of Trump,” Williams said in a statement to New York Daily News. “Allowing discrimination based on reproductive health decisions is clearly meant to deny women of their human rights. An employer has no place in these deeply personal matters.”
Laura McQuade, president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said in a statement to New York Daily Newsthat this bill comes at the perfect political moment.
“With the Trump Administration taking direct aim at birth control access with the new rule permitting employers and universities to deny birth control coverage for their employees and students, it has never been more critical for New York to stand up for reproductive health care access,” she said.
About 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drugs or surgery, and these procedures often require expensive coverage. And New York State has been working to ensure this type of coverage is accessible to families. According to Amsterdam News, Williams’ bill mirrors the “Boss Bill” that is currently on the New York State Legislature’s agenda. This bill would also ensure that employees could access medical treatment and medication without fearing employer retaliation.
And as state and local governments grapple with the issue of reproductive freedom, New York City might be leading the fight.
A new index by the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) evaluates the reproductive health policies of 40 U.S. cities. Along with Los Angeles and SAn Francisco, New York City was among the highest scoring cities.
“There’s no question that we need to be exceedingly vigilant right now given attacks by the federal and state government, Andrea Miller, president of the NIRH, said in a statement to The Nation. “But we would do ourselves a real disservice to let that blind us to the power and potential of local governments.”