New York Abortion Advocates Block Bill to Protect Disabled Patients

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Abortion Advocates Block Bill to Protect Disabled Patients Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 16, 2006

Albany, NY ( — Abortion advocates in the New York state legislature are coming under fire for blocking a bill that would help the elderly and disabled because they object to a provision in the bill that would provide some recognition for unborn children.

New York is one of just two states that have not approved legislation that would allow family members of an elderly or disabled patient to make their medical and health care decisions when they can speak for themselves.

Legislation to fix the problem was first proposed 13 years ago and has yet to be approved thanks to pro-abortion lawmakers.

"Today, in many cases, family members have no such control, leaving the fate of their loved ones in the hands of strangers with medical degrees," explains New York Daily News columnist Bill Hammond.

"Fixing this glitch should be a no-brainer. Forty-eight other states managed to do it with little fuss," he writes. "In this case, a measure that’s vitally important to patients and families across the state is being held hostage by pro-choice … purists in the Assembly."

Although the bill has nothing to do with abortion it includes a line saying the family members of an incapacitated woman who is pregnant should "consider the impact of treatment decisions on the fetus."

Hammond writes that pro-abortion groups studied the bill and have said they don’t consider the provision a problem. But pro-abortion lawmakers do.

"I’m not comfortable voting for it," Assemblywoman Deborah Glick told Hammond, saying she worries how courts may interpret it worries it will give more rights to unborn children.

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell agreed and said "To garner my support [the bill] has to remove the language about the fetus."

"This nit-picking would be comical if it didn’t have such tragic consequences," Hammond writes in his Daily News column Tuesday.

"Every day, at hospitals and nursing homes across the state, doctors and family members struggle with gaps in the current law," he writes. "Doctors often find a way to consult a patient’s loved ones, but they’re on shaky legal ground when they do."

"And, when Terri Schiavo-like disputes arise, facilities can shut family members out entirely and do what they think is best," Hammond adds.