After massive opposition to the legislation Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing that would promote unlimited abortions, the bill is now dead.
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 measure was expected to easily pass the State Assembly but to have a harder time in the Senate, where Republicans have already pledged to block it.
The Independent Democratic Conference, a group of four breakaway Democrats who run the senate with Republicans, introduced nine of Cuomo’s 10 Women’s Equality Agenda measures yesterday, including enhanced penalties for human traffickers and increased legal damages for women who aren’t paid equally. They left out the governor’s abortion plank.
The measure would have decriminalized abortions after 24 weeks when a woman’s health — not just her life — were at risk. Cuomo, a 55-year-old Democrat and potential presidential candidate in 2016, said it would protect women if the U.S. Supreme Court rolls back its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the right.
“I think it’s a mistake for the IDC, who are theoretically Democrats,” Cuomo said today in a radio interview. “This is going to be an electoral decision, and it’s going to be in the re-election campaigns of these senators.”
Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who leads the breakaway Democrats, said his group supports abortion rights but didn’t want to allow a vote on a bill that would fail.
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%.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion legislation was 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.
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