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New York Senate GOP Slams Cuomo’s Third-Term Abortion Measure

by Steven Ertelt | Albany, NY | LifeNews.com | 1/30/13 2:47 PM

State

New York state Senate Republicans are slamming a proposal New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing in the New York state legislature that pro-life advocates say would promote late-term abortions.

The bill, pro-life advocates say, would elevate abortion to a fundamental right and have New York on record saying the state can’t discriminate on abortion in benefits or services or anything else it provides.

“Cuomo’s legislation, she said, would make illegal abortion restrictions, such as parental-notification laws, informed-consent laws, restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion bans of any kind,” said Kathleen Gallagher, the New York’s Catholic Conference director of pro-life activities.

According to a new report, New York’s Senate Republicans, who may have the votes to stop the measure from progressing, are slamming the governor. Even lawmakers who support abortion think it goes too far.

“I think this is not a well-thought-out piece of legislation,” said Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos of Nassau County. “The bottom line is, in New York state, abortion is legal, it’s safe.”

“I don’t understand what the issue is,” Skelos said two weeks after Cuomo made the proposal a rousing part of his State of the State speech. “In New York state, you have Medicaid spending on abortion, there is no parental consent, there is no parental notification, you can pretty much have an abortion any time you want … I think it’s really a non-issue.”

Cuomo packaged the abortion rights measure in a women’s rights package that included proposals to assure equal pay, workplace rights, and bills combating abuse against women. At this point, Cuomo has tied all the measures together, requiring the Legislature to approve all or none of the proposals.

He repeated his support for greater abortion protections three times in his State of the State speech, shouting and jabbing his finger to the cheering audience: “Because it’s her body, it’s her choice!”

After Skelos’ comments, Cuomo appeared to downplay the magnitude of his proposal, which he had likened during his earlier speech to his landmark measure in 2011 that legalized same-sex marriage.

“State law needs to be updated so that it is consistent with federal standards and once and for all makes a woman’s right to choose unassailable in New York state,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi. “This is not an expansion of abortion rights. It’s a codification of existing federal law. Any suggestion to the contrary is not only baseless, but a distortion of the facts.”

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The New York Right to Life Committee provided LifeNews with more details on what Cuomo is pushing in the legislature.

The radical abortion bill, the “Reproductive Health Act” would make changes to current NYS law that represent the opinion of only a tiny subset of New Yorkers who hold extremist pro-abortion views. By writing “fundamental reproductive rights” into NYS state law, the bill would provide full legal cover to the tragic and well-entrenched practice of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy.

This bill is the product of the extremist pro-abortion lobby that takes exception to reasonable, common sense laws, such as parental consent and limits on government payment for abortions. The advocates of this bill are the same who oppose the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in 2007.

S.438 is meant to ensure that the radical abortion industry in New York can continue to thrive without reservation, or common-sense protections for anyone other than abortionists, to address its out of control practice in New York State.

The Reproductive Health Act would, among other things:

  • Allow non-physicians to perform abortions;
  • Remove criminal penalties even from unlawful abortions;
  • Prevent an unborn child who is the intended victim of a crime from being recognized as a victim;
  • Prevent any limitation on use of taxpayer funds to curtail New York’s Medicaid policy of paying for abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy;
  • Deceitfully redefine pregnancy as beginning at implantation – not fertilization;
  • Falsely redefine fetal (child) viability and
  • Unleash new assaults on the consciences of those who oppose participating in abortion – health care professionals, hospitals, hospital residents, and health insurance providers.