A New York lawmaker who voted to legalize abortion for basically any reason up to birth is being rebuked by Catholic leaders in his district.
For his pro-abortion vote, state Sen. James Gaughran no longer is invited to the Irish-American Catholic St. Patrick’s Day parade in Huntington, New York, according to The Deacon’s Bench. The local Catholic organization also asked Gaughran to resign from its membership.
“The membership is dismayed that a member of their order could vote for such a law,” said Monsignor Steven R. Camp, chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ John F. Kennedy Division 4 of Suffolk County, in a letter to Gaughran.
The supposedly Catholic lawmaker voted in January for one of the most radical pro-abortion laws in the country. The New York Reproductive Health Act goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing unborn babies to be aborted even when the U.S. Supreme Court has said states may restrict abortions. Late-term abortions, which once were illegal in New York, now are allowed, and non-doctors may perform them.
Camp said Gaughran’s vote caused “great dismay” among Catholics, who believe that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death.
“This law violates all the principles the AOH has ascribed to since its founding, adherence to our Roman Catholic faith, and the security of the Irish race,” he wrote on behalf of its members.
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Despite the rebuke, Gaughran continued to defend his pro-abortion position this month.
“Respectfully, I find this troubling and contrary to the principle that our elected officials must represent all their constituents, not just those with whom they share their religious beliefs,” Gaughran said in response to the letter.
“I maintain my belief that a woman should have the right to make her own personal reproductive health care decisions,” he continued.
But it is not just Catholics and Christians who oppose the radical pro-abortion law. Polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans oppose late-term abortions. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 53 percent of Americans said abortions should be legal in only a few or no circumstances, while 43 percent said abortions should be legal in all or most circumstances.
“No fewer than 51% of Americans have favored more restrictive abortion laws since 1994, when Gallup first asked the follow-up probe of those saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances,” the pollsters wrote.
Earlier this year, a national poll by Marist University found similar results. Three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and Democrats (60 percent).
These numbers suggest Gaughran did not vote with his constituents, Catholic or otherwise.
He said he does not consider himself an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and did not renew his membership recently.