A radical pro-abortion bill in New York could make being pro-life a crime, pro-life state leaders warned this week.
The so-called Reproductive Health Act would erase basically every regulation and restriction on abortion in the state, and declare the killing of unborn babies a “fundamental right.”
Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, told the Catholic News Service that the pro-abortion bill “foresees a time in New York where it’s a crime to be pro-life.”
New York State Right to Life predicted that the bill will lead to the suppression of pro-lifers’ freedom of speech and conscience. Doctors and nurses who refuse to help abort unborn babies could lose their jobs, and pro-life advocates could be persecuted for just speaking out for life.
Abortion activists have been trying to pass the bill for more than a decade in New York, and the latest version is “worse than we thought,” Gallagher said. It looks like it will pass in the new Democrat-controlled state legislature this winter. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to hold up the budget until it does.
Here’s more from the report:
Dennis Poust, director of communications for the New York State Catholic Conference, said the numbers needed to prevent the bill from passing “just aren’t there.”
“The Assembly is overwhelmingly Democrat, and the governor is the one who has been proposing it. (Senate Democrats) ran on this and were swept into office, so they’re not going to not pass it,” he explained.
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The bill refers to abortion as a “fundamental human right,” which is cause for concern, said Gallagher. Because of the strong language, the bill could be used to block religious organizations from advocating for life, or prevent doctors from abstaining from performing abortions on religious or moral grounds.
The legislation goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing abortions even when the Supreme Court has said states may restrict them, according to the pro-life leaders. Late-term abortions, which currently are illegal in New York, would be allowed, and non-doctors would be allowed to perform them.
The bill’s “health” exception for late-term abortions would include “age, economic, social and emotional factors, rather than the biological definition of ‘health’ that normally comes to mind,” according to New York RTL. This means unborn babies could be aborted for basically any reason through all nine months of pregnancy.
The legislation poses serious dangers to women’s lives and rights as well. By removing protections from illegal abortions, the bill would open the door for abuses. According to New York RTL, back alley abortionists, abusive partners or parents and others would no longer face charges for illegally killing an unborn baby – even if the mother wanted her child.
“In early December, a resident of Saratoga County was arrested for punching the stomach of a woman who was 26 weeks pregnant in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. The man was charged with abortion in the second degree, but under the RHA, the attacker would not have been charged with a felony,” CNA noted.
Protections for babies born alive after botched abortions also would end under the new bill. Additionally, the bill says the state cannot “deny, regulate or restrict” abortion, not even for common-sense reasons such as parental consent for minors, informed consent or limits on taxpayer-funded abortions.
“There’s no time to wait,” Clinton said, pushing lawmakers to pass the bill.
Though the future looks grim, pro-life advocates refuse to give up hope for unborn babies and mothers.
“I always used to say, ‘Write to your legislator,’ but the most important thing you can do is talk to your hairdresser, talk to the guy on the local baseball field; that’s what’s going to change hearts and minds,” Gallagher said.
New York RTL also urges pro-life advocates to contact their state lawmakers and share their memo outlining how extreme the pro-abortion bill really is.
State Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, is the sponsor.
Action: Contact New York state lawmakers.