The Catholic bishops of New York are joining pro-life groups across the state in pledging to do everything they ca to defeat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bill that would allow abortion on demand for any reason throughout pregnancy.
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%. In short, New York does not need more abortion. If anything, we need to address the underlying issues that make women feel like they have no other choice than to end the life of their children.”
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 bill is expected to easily pass the State Assembly but to have a harder time in the Senate, where Republicans have already pledged to block it.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan released a statement along with his fellow bishops criticizing the abortion bill:
We are profoundly distressed by the introduction of a bill in New York State today that would ease restrictions in state law on late-term abortion and runs the serious risk of broadly expanding abortion access at all stages of gestation. This legislation would add a broad and undefined “health” exception for late-term abortion and would repeal the portion of the penal law that governs abortion policy, opening the door for non-doctors to perform abortions and potentially decriminalizing even forced or coerced abortions. In addition, we find the conscience protection in the bill to be vague and insufficient, and we are concerned about the religious liberty of our health facilities. While the bill’s proponents say it will simply “codify” federal law, it is selective in its codification. Nowhere does it address the portions of federal laws that limit abortion, such as the ban on taxpayer funding, the ban on partial birth abortion or protections for unborn victims of violence.
As the pastors of more than 7.2 million Catholic New Yorkers, we fully oppose this measure, and urge all our faithful people to do the same, vigorously and unapologetically. We invite all women and men of good will to join in this effort and defeat this serious attempt to expand abortion availability in our state and to codify the most radical abortion proposals of any state in the nation.
We support the first nine points in the Governor’s agenda that enhance the true dignity of women. We commit ourselves to examining those proposals and working with the legislature on any and all efforts that help guarantee real equity for all women and men. Our position on these issues will be consistent with all the efforts of the Catholic Church throughout the world to enhance the dignity of women. The direct taking of the life of a child in the womb in no way enhances a woman’s dignity.
Instead of expanding abortion and making abortions even more prevalent, we would like to protect both the woman and the child in the womb. In New York, where one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion (and upwards of 6 in 10 in certain communities), it is clear that we as a state have lost sight of that child’s dignity. We pledge all our efforts to defeat this proposal. We call on all pro-life New Yorkers to stand together with us and with all the leadership in Albany who share our conviction that we have no need for such a bill to become law. We need instead to enhance and promote the life and dignity of all human beings from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion legislation is 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