Key New York Lawmaker Won’t Vote for Cuomo’s Late-Term Abortion Bill

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 11, 2013   |   10:33AM    Albany, NY

A key Republican state Senator pro-abortion groups hoped would join abortion activists in supporting a bill by Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow abortion on demand says he doesn’t support the bill.

Sen. Joseph Robach said he doesn’t support a portion of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation, and his decision to oppose the bill could put a huge kink in the governor’s plans to push the bill through the legislation.

From a local news report:

Robach, of Greece, Monroe County, said he doesn’t support Cuomo’s bill as written. He said he believes it goes further than codifying the federal Roe v. Wade decision, as Cuomo says it does.

“I heard loud and clear from a lot of people in my district—and I feel it, also—that going above and beyond Roe v. Wade to open the door for partial-birth abortion is not necessary,” Robach said Monday. “If the governor wanted to codify Roe v. Wade, he could have said that in one sentence.”

With at least two Democrats expected to vote against the abortion plank, Robach had been identified by women’s groups as a potential swing vote. They had aired ads in his district urging him to support it.

The state’s Catholic bishops and state pro-life groups are pushing hard to defeat the legislation.

In 2009, 119,996 of New York’s children lost their lives to induced abortion. Approximately 40% of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. Among African Americans in New York City, that number climbs to 60%. In short, New York does not need more abortion. If anything, we need to address the underlying issues that make women feel like they have no other choice than to end the life of their children.”

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.

The bill is expected to easily pass the State Assembly but to have a harder time in the Senate, where Republicans have already pledged to block it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion legislation is getting the third degree from pro-life groups, upset because it is so extreme it would allow abortions on viable unborn babies.

“The governor’s Women’s Equality Act is nothing more than a Trojan Horse— a beautifully gift-wrapped package of death and destruction,” says Lori Kehoe of the New York State Right to Life Committee.

“The Governor’s newly released abortion agenda involves enshrining a barbaric federal law from the last century,” she continued. “Under Roe v. Wade, abortionists like Kermit Gosnell can kill babies with a heartbeat, babies capable of feeling pain, babies who are full term and waiting to be born. Instead of protecting these children, the governor is dragging New York in the wrong direction. Current law states that only a duly licensed physician may perform an abortion. This bill repeals that section and allows anyone to perform an abortion.”

Kehoe tells LifeNews the bill offers no guidance on how viability is determined.

“Supreme Court precedent holds that determining the viability of babies is left entirely to the abortionist’s discretion. Allowing abortionists to determine the viability of babies is a major conflict of interest that should be remedied— not enshrined in New York State law,” she said.

Roe allows for abortion until the moment of birth. Currently, babies in the womb are protected in New York State law after 24 weeks except to save the mother’s life. But Cuomo’s bill would repeal that law and insert a “health” exception, broadly interpreted by the courts to include age, economic, social and emotional factors.

Kehoe says “trimester abortion will become commonplace in New York State” — “This will expand abortion and increase the already staggering death toll.”

“If a mother needs to end her pregnancy in the third trimester, it can be safely ended with a C-section. A C-section takes minutes and results in a newborn baby. No one has to die. A third trimester abortion takes days endangering a mother’s life and results in a dead baby,” Kehoe added.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, New York already has the highest level of induced abortion in the nation.

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest says the measure would protect grisly late-term abortion practitioners like Kermit Gosnell. She said that, despite the fact that New York has the highest percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion of any state in the nation, Cuomo has launched an effort that will further increase the incidence of abortion in the state.

“As the inhuman details of Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ trial continue to resonate, it is irresponsible for Governor Cuomo to advance a ‘Back-Alley Abortionist Empowerment Act’ seeking to remove all medically and legally appropriate protections for women and girls considering abortion,” Yoest said. “Why should women die through the misdeeds of New York abortionists unregulated, unmonitored and free to provide horrific care?

According to the most recent data from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion-industry think tank, 33 percent of New York pregnancies ended in abortion in 2008. More pregnancies ended in abortion in New York than in any of the other 50 states.

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