Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York said Wednesday the organization is “outraged and appalled” by the actions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), as alleged by independent investigators who found that Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former state employees.”
The abortion industry giant is calling for Cuomo’s “immediate resignation.”
Cuomo has rejected the investigative report’s findings, stating, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
“The Governor was extremely inappropriate in his attempt to use survivors’ stories and experiences to discredit the allegations against him,” Robin Chappelle Golston, CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, said, adding:
This demonstrates a fundamental lack of empathy and understanding that his actions were wrong. Every person deserves the opportunity to have their story be respectfully heard, and to work in an environment free of harassment or retaliation. We honor the bravery and courage of those who have come forward.
Just three years ago, however, Golston gave Cuomo her organization’s endorsement over his primary challenger, actress and activist Cynthia Nixon:
Honored to receive this endorsement. I will always stand with Planned Parenthood. pic.twitter.com/uW8Mg9zRlh
— Andrew Cuomo (@andrewcuomo) July 11, 2018
During her campaign, Nixon mocked the idea that Cuomo was a champion for women’s rights and accused him of “gaslighting women”:
It is time for Cuomo to stop gaslighting women. For years, he has claimed he’s fighting to pass the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act. Yet, for years, he made the choice to side with the Republicans. Now our reproductive freedom is at risk. pic.twitter.com/u0V0qaWdEM
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) July 10, 2018
On Wednesday, Nixon praised an article in the Nation that suggested the Time’s Up gender equality movement has actually “enabled” Cuomo’s alleged behavior:
Great article — & more on how Time’s Up gave Cuomo cover👇
“Since 2019, Time’s Up has eagerly propped up Cuomo, who took credit for a whole bunch of sexual harassment reforms after ignoring the women on the ground who did the work to pass them.”
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) August 4, 2021
After winning reelection, Cuomo won praise from Planned Parenthood as he signed legislation permitting abortions in New York up to the day of birth:
This. Is. Huge.@NYGovCuomo JUST signed the Reproductive Health Act into law — a big win towards securing safe, legal abortion & access to contraception for all!
Can't wait to see other states follow New York's lead to protect our health and rights. 😎 https://t.co/1nH9fnIJDK
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) January 23, 2019
The governor also illuminated in pink One World Trade Center in New York City to celebrate the new law that pro-life leaders said is “no different than infanticide”:
Cuomo says One World Trade Center's 408-foot spire, the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany will be lit in pink tonight to celebrate passage of Reproductive Health Act https://t.co/TmDEmj18Vy pic.twitter.com/XYdgxPNaoC
— Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) January 23, 2019
Regarding the report by investigators who alleged Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, New York Attorney General Letitia James said the governor allegedly violated state and federal laws.
“I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get the truth,” James said. “No man — no matter how powerful — can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”