This afternoon, the New York State Assembly passed the pro-abortion Women’s Equality Act by a margin of 97 to 47.
Leading pro-life groups and the state’s Catholic bishops have been working feverishly to stop New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to increase the number of abortions, including late abortions.
Late Tuesday, Cuomo agreed to split the governor’s Women’s Equality Act into 10 separate bills to be voted on individually, setting the stage for a showdown over the proposal’s most controversial provision, a measure to amend the state’s abortion laws.
It was considered a pro-life victory in defeating the bill.
But the revised bill Cumo introduced contains the same problems as his first attempt in that it attempts to codify Roe v. Wade — something that can overturn all of the state’s pro-life laws.
The measure also will expand late-term abortions past 24 weeks and allow “any health care provider” to perform abortions.
Now that the state assembly has approved the measure, The Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is not happy.
“New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is disappointed and saddened—but not surprised—by today’s vote in the Assembly. It is unfortunate that a supermajority of the Assembly chose to disregard the best interests of women and unborn children to promote a destructive, extremist ideology of late-term abortion expansion. NYCF thanks the courageous Members of the Assembly who spoke against the unnecessary and heavy-handed packaging of this legislation, which forced the Members to either vote ‘yes’ on late-term abortion expansion or to vote ‘no’ on the other, non-controversial portions of the WEA that might actually help women. NYCF especially thanks those Members of the Assembly who reminded their colleagues that unborn children are deserving of legal protection. We strongly encourage Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos to stand firm in his opposition to an unnecessary floor vote on late-term abortion expansion.”
But the bill could still die in the Senate. The state Senate, which is controlled by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, said it was prepared Friday to vote for nine of the 10 points, not the abortion component.
“We expect to take up and pass a comprehensive 9-point women’s equality agenda that extends additional protections to the victims of domestic violence, combats human trafficking and creates zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Kelly Cummings, a spokesowman for Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County. “Senator Skelos continues to oppose bringing the governor’s abortion proposal to the floor.”
Last week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said, “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.