New York Abortion Bill’s Fate Questionable With New Governor David Paterson

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Abortion Bill’s Fate Questionable With New Governor David Paterson

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 19
, 2008

Albany, NY ( — The fate of a bill that would significantly expand unlimited abortions in New York is still in question with new Governor David Paterson taking the place of Eliot Spitzer. Paterson is a long-time abortion advocate but he hasn’t said whether he will continue Spitzer’s aggressive efforts to get it approved.

Pro-life organizations have strongly opposed the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act because it would enshrine abortion in state law and overturn virtually every pro-life limit.

The measure would also force Catholic and other pro-life hospitals to change their policies and do abortions upon request.

Last week, Paterson indicated he supports the measure and told a pro-abortion group’s annual conference he fully embraced its fight to keep abortions legal.

Alan Mehldau, chairman of Westchester-Putnam Right to Life, told Cybercast News Service he’s hopeful Paterson will see the tremendous opposition to the bill and back off.

"I’m hoping that he’ll look at it and he’ll see the reaction to this bill, which has been outstanding as far as people finally waking up," Mehldau said. He might say, ‘Hey, this is one we’ll leave out for the time being.’"

Kathleen Gallagher, of the Catholic Conference, told CNS News her group is concerned because Paterson is pro-abortion like Spitzer.

"His record shows that he would support the intentions of the bill," said Gallagher. "We are just on guard, being very vigilant here. We are just kind of waiting to see how the dust settles here in New York."

However, she said she viewed the bill as Spitzer’s way of paying back pro-abortion groups that strongly supported his gubernatorial bid and that Paterson may not feel as beholden to them.

"Spitzer’s name is closely associated with this bill. This is his abortion bill," she said. "We consider it his payback to the abortion industry that funded his election campaign. I hope people run away from it now that he’s gone."

As reported, Paterson addressed the Family Planning Advocates of New York State while Spitzer gave a press conference responding to allegations he had been with a prostitute.

Paterson said he had "attended many FPA conferences in the past" and "know[s] the importance of this event for" promoting abortion in New York.

He applauded the group’s efforts "to keep abortion safe and legal" saying it "benefited women and families throughout the state" and the pro-abortion group’s "leadership on these issues has made New York a model for other states."

In 2004, the organization presented Paterson the "Margaret Sanger Award" — named after the woman who founded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. He also received an award from Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.

Paterson was also instrumental in passage of a bill that forces taxpayers in new York to fund embryonic stem cell research.

The 2.1 billion includes significant funding for research that involves the destruction of human life.

The abortion bill was introduced in the New York Senate and has been assigned to the Senate Health Committee where it will not likely get a first vote until May.