In his bid to unseat state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), Nassau businessman Adam Haber, the Democratic Party candidate, hopes to seize upon their difference on women’s health issues to paint a stark contrast in policy over reproductive rights.
At a rally held Monday outside the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce, Haber received the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, and several Nassau County business women for his candidacy in New York’s 7th Senate District as he declared his support for the Reproductive Rights Disclosure Act, which would protect the state’s women from the adverse effects of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision limiting women’s health insurance for contraceptives.
The disclosure act, proposed by Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman and state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester Democrat, would shield women in New York from the effects of the Hobby Lobby decision by requiring employers both to give current employees 90 days’ notice before changing contraceptive coverage and to notify prospective employees of any contraceptive coverage they offer their employees.
“Senator Jack Martins has repeatedly stymied progress on women’s equality,” said Haber, “and the women of Nassau County deserve better representation as we work together to fight anti-equality measures like Hobby Lobby.”
The candidates’ differing views on abortion were clear to the women endorsing Haber.
“Despite overwhelming support for women’s health, safety and equality among voters on Long Island, not one single state senator in Nassau or Suffolk County is pro-choice,” said Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice NY. “The election of Adam Haber in District 7 will reverse this trend.”
“Planned Parenthood serves thousands of women and families in Nassau County, and the community needs state legislators who will stand strong in support of the comprehensive reproductive health care services our centers provide and that our patients both need and deserve,” said JoAnn D. Smith, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County Action Fund president. “This endorsement demonstrates the confidence we have in Adam Haber to protect and advance access to these essential services.”
The Martins campaign countered that the incumbent and the challenger are not that far apart on the women’s rights issues that matter most—despite what Haber and his supporters may claim.
“As a husband and father of four daughters, Senator Martins continues to fight for women’s equality, including equal pay and stronger protections from discrimination,” said Chris Schneider, a Martins campaign spokesman, in a statement to the Press.
But he added that the two men do differ over a provision in the Women’s Equality Act, still pending in Albany, that would allow late-term abortions when the woman’s health was deemed at risk. Haber supports it, Martins doesn’t.
“Adam Haber continues to demand tying these reforms to an unrelated measure allowing non-doctors to perform late term/partial birth abortions right up until the moment of birth,” said Schneider. “His divisive approach, which leaders in both parties have criticized, shows Mr. Haber is more interested in playing politics than protecting women.”