Sunday, January 25, 2009

Constance Cook, NY Abortion Rights Pioneer, Dies

NY Times: Constance E. Cook, 89, Who Wrote Abortion Law, Is Dead, by Dennis Hevesi:

Constance E. Cook, a former New York State assemblywoman who was co-author of the law that legalized abortion in the state three years before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, died Tuesday at her home in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 89....

Mrs. Cook, a Republican, represented the 128th Assembly District....

[H]er most significant influence came with the passage, on April 10, 1970, of the abortion-rights law that she wrote with State Senator Franz S. Leichter, a Manhattan Democrat. Three decades later, she seemed modest about it.

“I didn’t really have a sense at that time that we had done something momentous, though it was long overdue,” Mrs. Cook told The New York Times in April 2000. “Looking back now, it seems like a bigger deal.”

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