New York Pro-Life Leaders Urge Strong Opposition to Reproductive Bill in Legislature

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Pro-Life Leaders Urge Strong Opposition to Reproductive Bill in Legislature

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 28
, 2009

Albany, NY ( — A trio of pro-life leaders in New York have written an editorial urging strong opposition to the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, an overtly pro-abortion measure pending in the state legislature. They say the bill would significantly expand unlimited abortions in New York.

As they did during the last legislative session, 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.

Kathleen Gallagher, the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, Dawn Iacono, the director of pro-life activities for the Diocese of Buffalo, and Anne Downey of the New York affiliate of Concerned Women for America have teamed up for a new op-ed piece in the Buffalo News.

They take issue with an ACLU representative who claimed fliers the groups are distributing with information about the bill are inaccurate.

The materials “contained accurate information, not scare tactics,” they say.

“What is scary is the so-called Reproductive Health Act. The bill was introduced by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer at the request of the extreme abortion-rights activists who helped elect him,” they explain.

“The bill, which is similar to the much-criticized federal Freedom of Choice Act, would usher in abortion rights far beyond those approved in Roe v. Wade and subsequent U. S. Supreme Court cases, at the expense of women and others,” they add.

The pro-life advocates explain how the legislation would elevate abortion to a “fundamental right,” requiring government to guarantee it and forbidding anyone from discriminating against it. As a result, it would be difficult to put even the most minor abortion limits on the books to help women and reduce abortions.

“The act would indeed expand the pool of practitioners who could perform abortion, eliminating the requirement that abortions be performed by doctors. The bill would knock out reasonable restrictions, such as banning gruesome partial-birth abortions,” they say.

The pro-life trio also worries how the bill would go further by compelling all medical providers, including Catholic hospitals and pro-life doctors, to do abortions.

“The aim is to do away with conscience protections and force religious hospitals to permit abortions,” they say.

The writers say the ACLU is acting in a hypocritical manner because while it claims Catholic hospitals have no reason to worry about the bill, the pro-abortion law firm is actively engaged in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the additional conscience protections the Bush administration put in place to protect doctors and medical staff from having to participate in abortions.

The pro-life advocates also explain that the bill could undermine many beneficial maternity programs in New York such as Prenatal Care Assistance Program, which helps low-income mothers afford prenatal care and reduces infant mortality.

Because the bill says the state could not “discriminate” against the fundamental right to abortion, such programs, which favor childbirth over abortion, would be put at great risk.

“We don’t need tactics to scare anyone. This legislation is scary enough all by itself. We urge all New Yorkers to contact their state legislators and voice their opposition to this extreme piece of legislation,” they conclude.

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