Heard Around Town

Health care coalition rallying against Lee Zeldin on abortion rights stance

In an open letter, health care professionals and advocates urge New Yorkers to elect a governor committed to protecting the right to choose. They claim Zeldin fails to fit that mold.

Lee Zeldin has been criticized for his anti-abortion stance.

Lee Zeldin has been criticized for his anti-abortion stance. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A coalition of more than 20 physicians, health care providers, public health experts and reproductive justice advocates have rallied against Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin in an open letter obtained by City & State. The letter was drafted and organized by the group of signees after their meeting with the governor about reproductive rights. The coalition – which includes the New York State Nurses Association union, Planned Parenthood NYS PAC, Eleanor’s Legacy and Her Bold Move PAC – is denouncing Zeldin’s stance on abortion just weeks ahead of the election. Pointing to Zeldin’s support of a federal abortion ban bill in Congress, vote to defund Planned Parenthood and decision to sign an amicus brief to overturn Roe v. Wade, the coalition claims Zeldin “will do everything in his power to bring the same restrictive policies to New York.” Zeldin hasn’t shied away from his controversial abortion stance while on the campaign trail. The group highlighted Zeldin’s comments at a virtual town hall where he showed interest in appointing a pro-life health commissioner. “A Zeldin administration would put women undergoing high-risk pregnancies in an untenable position in which they would be forced to decide whether to seek illegal care or put their own lives in danger,” the letter reads. This is a big assertion that isn’t so black & white. As City & State reported, Zeldin would have a tough time rolling back the abortion rights enshrined in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s legislative package this year. Those who’ve signed the letter are urging New Yorkers to elect a governor that will protect the right to choose. They’ve highlighted the steps the state has taken to protect abortion rights by establishing abortion rights as a fundamental right following the Dobbs decision. “We cannot afford to sit silently and allow our patients’ reproductive rights to be taken away. Let’s all stand up and get to work,” states the letter.

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