by Steven Ertelt
August 1, 2005
Albany, NY (LifeNews.com) — Upsetting abortion advocates, New York Gov. George Pataki has decided to veto a morning after pill bill that would make the state the next to allow over the counter sales of the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.
Pataki says young women aren’t protected enough under the bill, which was approved in the Democrat controlled State Assembly and the Republican controlled Senate.
"This bill, which hasn’t even been sent to the governor yet, is a flawed, politically expedient measure that fails to include any common-sense protections for minors and ignores the fact that the FDA will rule on this issue in just a few weeks," Pataki spokesman Kevin Quinn told the Associated Press.
"Consistent with his record on women’s reproductive issues, the governor plans to veto the legislation primarily because it provides no protection whatsoever for minors," Quinn added. "If this and other flaws in the bill are addressed, and a responsible version of the bill is advanced, the governor would support it."
The measure would allow women, including teenagers to purchase the drug at a local pharmacy without first seeing a doctor and obtaining a prescription.
The Plan B drugs can also be provided to a patient by a nurse or midwife. They can obtain blank prescription pads from doctors to complete on their own for the drugs.
Pataki opposed the bill because there is no age limit on how old a teenage girl needs to be before she can purchase the drugs. That problem caused some lawmakers to oppose the proposal in the legislature.
"It’s absolutely ludicrous there is no age limit," Republican Sen. Hugh Farley of Schenectady County said, adding that he wished the bill would set an age minimum for girls buying the drugs. "I think it promotes unprotected sex … it’s one of the worst pieces of legislation, regardless of how you feel about abortion."
Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, said her group has asked pro-life advocates to contact Pataki to ask him to veto the bill.
"We have a network of Catholics throughout the state [who called the governor]," she said.
Lori Kehoe, the director of the New York State Right to Life Committee told LifeNews.com her organization opposes any drug that can act as an abortion agent and terminate the life of an unborn child who has been conceived but not yet born.
Ironically, word of the veto comes as the New York chapter of NARAL is beginning a television ad campaign on Pataki’s behalf in New York, Iowa and New Hampshire, two leading primary states. The ads for the potential 2008 presidential candidate stress his longtime pro-abortion views.
Pataki last week said he would not run for a fourth term as governor and hinted he may launch a presidential campaign.
Seven other states have approved sales of the morning after pill over the counter. Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington allow the morning after pill to be purchased without a prescription.
Canada has also made the sometimes abortion drug Plan B available over the counter without a prescription and Vermont and Oregon are considering similar proposals.