- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Senate has passed stronger criminal penalties for sex trafficking, but the measure’s fate remains unclear as lawmakers enter the final days of the legislative session.

The legislation unanimously endorsed by the Senate on Thursday would also make it easier for trafficking victims to defend themselves if charged with prostitution.

Despite widespread support, the measure failed last year after it was included in a broad, 10-point bill that contained an abortion provision opposed by many in the Senate.

Supporters in the Assembly refused to remove the abortion provision, which would match state law with the rights spelled out in the Roe v. Wade decision.

It’s unclear whether the stand-off between the two chambers will end before lawmakers adjourn next week.

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