Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Entering the Home Stretch on the Reproductive Health Act

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The New York State Legislature is approaching the last six weeks of its session, and there are still some key things to be done to stop the Reproductive Health Act — the extreme Abortion Expansion Act.

Based on recent public statements, it appears that a stand-alone abortion expansion bill still lacks the votes needed for passage.  It’s very encouraging that the Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, has repeatedly affirmed that he will not allow any kind of abortion bill to come to the floor of the Senate.  The Governor, however, is still seeking support for a bill and continues to insist that an abortion proposal will be included in an omnibus “women’s equality” bill — which would be extremely difficult to defeat.

So, we have to continue to stand together with our broad coalition of pro-life groups, “New Yorkers for Life”, and stress that while we support a real woman’s agenda, an expansion of abortion has no place in that.

Here are some practical things that can be done between now and the end of the legislative session in June:

  • Intensify our prayer efforts for conversion of heart of our public officials, and for courage in those who are opposing this bill.  It would be particularly important for specially-dedicated Holy Hours and Rosaries for this intention — this is the Month of Mary, and the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is on June 2.
  • Public prayerful witnesses are also very important — like this recent one in the Bronx, or this one in Orange County.  Another prayerful witness is scheduled for May 29th in White Plains.
  • We need more organizations to sign onto the New Yorkers for Life Statement of Principles.  Please have your parishes, men’s or women’s groups, Knights of Columbus Councils — every organization you can think of — sign the statement.  This is very important — legislators are trying to get a sense of the depth of  feeling in their districts on this issue, and are paying attention to how many groups sign the statement.
  • Contact Majority Leader Skelos, to thank him for his strong public statements against the bill.  These messages can be sent through the Catholic Action Network.  By the way, just to give you an idea, almost 3,000 “thank you” emails have been sent to Sen. Skelos — just in the last few days.  Our voices are being heard!
  • Continue to contact our own elected officials, and write letters and op-eds for our local newspapers and other media outlets.  You can get information about local media outlets through the Catholic Action Network (click on “Media Guide”).
  • Keep people informed.  It’s vital that we counter the misleading statements by abortion activists about this proposal (e.g., that it would merely codify existing federal law and thus have no effect on the general availability of abortion).   There is a wealth of information on the websites of New Yorkers for Life, the New York State Catholic Conference, and this blog.
  • We are entering the home stretch for this legislative session.  This bill can be defeated.  Now is the time to renew our commitment to defend human life, and to call upon Almighty God for the grace we need to do His will.

    Philippians 4:13 says it all — “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

    What Stands Between Us and Gosnell?

    Monday, April 29th, 2013

    You can’t expect the Times to cover abortion stories fairly, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask them to read legislation and report it correctly.  Once again, though, they fail even that basic test of journalism.

    To their credit, the Times reported today on Live Action’s latest video expose of the ugly practices of an abortion clinic in the Bronx.  And ugly it was — callous, heartless, and openly admitting that they murder live-born babies.  But of course, that’s what abortion is, all the time, every day.  It’s remarkable that the Times has finally taken some small notice of that fact.

    Unfortunately, the Times then went on to give a distorted and bizarre description of the Reproductive Health Act, the bill being pressed by the Governor and the abortion industry here in New York.  The Governor has been keeping the details of his bill under wraps, but there is an actual bill already in the Legislature, and no matter which one finally moves forward, this description by the Times is far off the mark:

    “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has thrown his support behind legislation that will guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, if her health is in danger or if the fetus is not viable. The current law permits abortion after 24 weeks only if a woman’s life is in danger, although it is not enforced because federal court rulings have allowed less restrictive late-term abortions.”

    That would imply that RHA is only going to make minor adjustments to current New York law, to bring it into line with Supreme Court precedents.  But RHA goes far beyond that.  It would revolutionize our law, establishing abortion as a pre-eminent right that will be virtually immune from regulation, and enshrining New York as a wide-open territory for the abortion industry to do whatever it wants. It could be called the “Welcome Kermit Gosnell Act”.

    RHA would define abortion as unqualified “fundamental right”, placing it on the same legal plane as the right to vote or political speech.  It would require that all regulations of abortion stand up to the highest standard of review by courts (“compelling state interest/strict scrutiny”).  This means that all the reasonable regulations of abortion we see in other states — parental involvement in abortion decisions by minors, full informed consent (including sonograms), limits on late-term abortions, bans on sex-selection abortions, etc. — would be virtually impossible in New York.

    It would also make abortion even more unsafe than it already is.  Currently, New York law permits only doctors to perform abortions.  RHA would instead permit abortions to be done by any “qualified, licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her practice”.  This term isn’t defined in the RHA, but it could include any health worker that the New York State Health Department feels like certifying, without any further consultation with the Legislature or the people of our state.  In other words, if the abortion industry wants to have invasive surgery done by non-doctors, then RHA is the perfect bill for them — regardless of the health risks to women.

    Current New York law also requires late-term abortions to be done only in hospitals.  This is a common-sense safety requirement, since late-term abortions are inherently more risky for the mother.  It’s also necessary to give a baby born alive after an abortion medical assistance to sustain her life — which is already required in a provision of New York law that is obviously being flouted in that Bronx clinic, and, most likely, in others as well.

    RHA would eliminate this hospital requirement and allow post-viability abortions to be performed on an outpatient basis in storefront offices that lack the resources to address any threats to the woman’s life, and the specialized medical staff and equipment to provide life support to any baby who survives the abortion.  It would also re-define “viability” in a way that would eviscerate the current legal protection for born-alive babies — leaving it entirely up to the discretion of the abortionist whether to provide any care.  Anyone who watches the Live Action video, or who has followed the Gosnell trial, knows that this leads directly to infanticide.

    Here’s what’s most frightening about RHA.  New York already has a “wild west” atmosphere when it comes to abortion.  But this bill sends a signal to the New York abortion industry that they are a special, protected class, and that they don’t have to worry about oversight, or scrutiny, or consequences.

    Nobody can name a single abortion clinic in New York that has been closed or cited for health violations in years.  Freedom of Information requests have been made to state and city governments asking for information about inspections, but there has been no answer.  So, we have a city that spends millions inspecting restaurants and sellers of large carbonated beverages, but can’t seem to find any abortion clinics to inspect.

    If that’s not chilling enough, consider this. At a public hearing a few years ago, Christine Quinn, who is the Speaker of the City Council and front-runner for mayor, lauded a witness as a “hero” for all that she did for “women’s health” and “reproductive rights”.  That witness was the medical director at the “Dr. Emily” clinic visited by Live Action.  Just think about that — a late-term abortionist who is a “hero” to our most powerful politicians, and whose ordinary practice, according to her staff, is to kill live-born infants.

    The Grand Jury in the Gosnell case pointed out that a “pro-choice” political atmosphere in Pennsylvania discouraged regulation and oversight of the abortion industry, allowing that clinic to do its business for years under the radar.  Passing RHA in New York will only encourage even more of that kind of laissez-faire attitude in New York.

    No matter how the Times tries to downplay it, if RHA is passed, there is nothing that stands between New York and Kermit Gosnell — or those like him, who are already here, operating in secret.

     

    Clarity on the Reproductive Health Act

    Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

    It’s conceivable that some people had doubts about how much importance the Governor places on passing the radical abortion expansion plan, called the Reproductive Health Act.

    Any such doubts have now been clearly removed.

    The Governor appeared on a news show today and called repeatedly for “clarity” on this issue, and made perfectly clear his ardent support for legalized abortion with no restrictions.  Among his comments:

    “An issue like choice I do think is binary. Do you affirm Roe v. Wade? Are you pro-choice or not?”

    “You’re either pro-choice, or you’re not pro-choice. You should have a vote on the big ones. There should be a vote on choice. The women in this state have a right to know.”

    Since the Governor was insisting on a “right to know” about bills that he has not yet revealed, the reporter asked when legislators and the people would be able to see and evaluate the specific proposals.  He seized upon the reporter’s phrase, “the devil is in the details”, and made clear that he would press forward for a vote on the bills, despite objections about the unavailability of specifics.  He said the following:

    “Legislators sometimes don’t want to take the votes that will clarify: choice, corruption, public finance. Raise your hand! Yay or nay!”

    “Often times they don’t want the bill to come to the floor for a vote because they don’t want to take the position.  What we need to do is strip away the devil is in the details as just an excuse.”

    An interesting turn of phrase, “the devil is in the details”.  He surely is, when the details of the Reproductive Health Act include such evils as late term abortions with no legal limitations, non-doctors performing surgical abortions, risky late-term abortions being done in stand-alone clinics and not hospitals, threats to freedom of conscience, more wounded and hurt men and women, and a likely increase in the 100,000+ abortions that already take place in New York.

    This episode has certainly added some “clarity” to the debate over the Reproductive Health Act.  It’s now even more clear that there’s a grave danger that this radical bill will be pushed through the Legislature, and that the Culture of Death will further advance in our State.

    Join in Prayer for Life

    Friday, April 12th, 2013

    In his great encyclical, The Gospel of Life, Blessed Pope John Paul emphasized that the struggle to promote a genuine culture of life has to be fought on several fronts.  We are certainly called to defend life in the public square, to resist any law that fails to respect the basic human right to life.  This aspect of the pro-life cause tends to gain the most attention, but it is actually not the most important way in which we seek to transform our culture.

    The most important ways to build a culture of life is to serve those in need, and to celebrate life, particularly through prayer.

    And so, on Monday April 15, at 5 p.m., in the midst of the ongoing battle to prevent the New York State government from enacting the radical Reproductive Health Act, we will travel to Albany once again.  Our aim this time is not to lobby our legislators, to offer reasoned arguments against the expansion of abortion.

    This time, we are making our pilgrimage to Albany to join in the Candlelight Vigil for Life, sponsored by the new coalition, New Yorkers for Life, of which the Church is a member.  This is not a political event.  Our aim is to join in prayer.  We will pray for healing for those whose lives have been harmed by abortion.  We will pray for conversion in the hearts of our Governor and legislators.  We will pray that they will turn their paths away from this immoral and unjust law.  And we will pray for courage and assistance for all those who are vulnerable to abortion.

    If you are able, perhaps you can make travel to our state’s capital to join us.  If you can’t maybe you can pause for a few minutes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m, to be in solidarity with us in prayer.

    Our society is deeply wounded by a lack of respect for life.  There are millions of people who have been wounded by offenses against life.  Our world needs healing, which only God can provide.  We will pray on Monday for that healing, for conversion of hearts, and for a transformation of our culture.

    Why We Continue to Resist the Reproductive Health Act

    Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

    One of the arguments that we are hearing from proponents of the Reproductive Health Act — a proposal that would expand abortion in New York even beyond its current abominable levels — is that the bill is nothing more than a “mere codification” of federal law.

    There are many problems with this “mere codification” argument.  First of all, it is factually false.   The Reproductive Health Act (both the actual one introduced in the Legislature, and any one that is likely to be introduced as part of a “Women’s Equality Act”) would significantly expand abortion.  For my explanation of how it would do so, check out my previous blog posts.

    We also resist this measure because it is a distraction from an authentic women’s public policy agenda — easier adoption laws and procedures, better access to day care, full funding for programs that offer alternatives to abortion, etc.  Abortion already hurts women, men, and society — and the Reproductive Health Act will make the problem worse.

    But even more fundamental to our opposition to the bill is the understanding that current federal law on abortion is evil.  It is a terrible injustice, it is a deplorable violation of basic human rights, and it is an ugly stain on our society’s character.  We cannot accept or even obey such laws.  We have “a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection” (Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 73).  Those who formulate our laws have a special obligation to protect the helpless, and anyone who engages in propaganda in favor of such a law or votes for it is committing a sin against justice and the common good (U.S. Bishops, Catholics in Political Life).

    Anyone who doubts where the expansion of abortion will lead, needs to consider two recent incidents.  The first is the trial of the abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose late-term abortion clinic was a chamber of horrors.  The testimony at trial is a catalog of inhumanity, in the the casual violence and degradation of abortion as it is actually practiced in the real world.

    If the Reproductive Health Act is passed, non-doctors would be permitted to do abortions, and risky late-term procedures will be done at non-hospitals — and we should not be surprised if a Gosnell-like event takes place here.

    The second is the testimony of a Planned Parenthood flack, at a legislative hearing in Florida.  The lobbyist was opposing a proposal that would grant legal protections to any baby who is born alive during the course of an abortion.  Under questioning, she refused to acknowledge that the newly-born living child should automatically be given health care, and insisted that it would all be left up to the mother and the doctor — in other words, that a “post-birth abortion” would be an acceptable alternative.

    Now, we all know that Planned Parenthood is a deeply evil organization, and nothing should surprise us from them.  But this incident, together with the Gosnell story, highlights the inevitable effect of abortion on everything it touches — life is devalued, morality is debased, people’s hearts are hardened, and the medical and legal professions are corrupted.  Passing the Reproductive Health Act would only add to this de-evolution of our our civilization, deeper into a Culture of Death.

    We need to see abortion law, and the Reproductive Health Act, for what it really is.  And we need to take to heart what Pope Francis said the other day on his Twitter feed:

    We must not believe the Evil One when he tells us that there is nothing we can do in the face of violence, injustice and sin.

    We will continue to resist the Reproductive Health Act, or any similar measure that would “merely codify” the injustice of abortion in our laws.  Join the effort!

    What Ever Happened to “Safe”?

    Monday, March 4th, 2013

    For a long time, apologists and advocates for legal abortion liked to say that they believed that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare”.

    Well, we know that they’ve given up on “rare”.  And they certainly are unconditionally committed to “legal”.

    But it’s astonishing that they now seem to have given up on “safe”.

    Consider two elements of the proposed “Reproductive Health Act”, which is being treated by the pro-abortion movement as their Holy Grail legislation.

    Currently, New York law permits only doctors to perform abortions.  That’s a reasonable, common-sense provision that has been the law for many decades.  Until recently it was the law across the United States, and it has never been called into question by a court on constitutional grounds.

    The Reproductive Health Act would remove that section of the law, and instead permit abortions (prior to the third trimester) to be done by any “qualified, licensed health care practitioner acting within the scope of his or her practice”.  This term isn’t defined in the RHA, but it is defined elsewhere in New York law to include: doctors, physician assistants, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, nurses, podiatrists, optometrists, ophthalmic dispensers, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and audiologists.  Thanks to that “scope of practice” clause in RHA, the decision to allow any of these persons to do abortions would be left entirely to the discretion of the New York State government, or private medical certification organizations — without any further consultation with the Legislature or the people of our state.

    So here’s the question: 

    How can it be “safe” to allow non-doctors, who have far less education, experience, and qualifications than physicians, to perform invasive surgery on women?

    A second troubling provision of RHA relates to late-term abortions.  Current New York law requires those procedures to be done only in hospitals.  This is another common-sense safety requirement, since late-term abortions are inherently more risky for the mother.  It’s also necessary to give effect to the current law that a baby born alive after an abortion must be given medical assistance to sustain her life.

    Instead, RHA would allow post-viability abortions to be performed on an outpatient basis in stand-alone clinics.   This is potentially very dangerous, since these clinics lack the resources to immediately address any threats to the woman’s life.   In many cases, the delay involved in calling an ambulance and transporting a gravely wounded mother can prove fatal.  Clinics also lack the specialized medical staff and equipment needed to provide neo-natal life support to any baby who survives the abortion.

    So here’s another question:

    How can it be “safe” to allow late-term abortions in facilities that lack emergency equipment and specialized staff that are needed to address grave threats to the lives of the mother and her child?

    This is where we are in the debate over legal abortion in New York State, thanks to the Reproductive Health Act.  And it leads us to ask another question:

    Is our society at the point where it’s so committed to maximizing the “legal” that it has given up on the “rare” — and is now sacrificing the “safe”?

    New Yorkers Speak Loud and Clear: No Abortion Expansion

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    In our efforts to oppose the Reproductive Health Act, we’ve been stressing over and over again that we already have too many abortions in New York, and that New Yorkers don’t support an expansion of abortion in our state.  A new poll not only confirms this point, but puts an exclamation mark on it.

    Sponsored by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, the poll surveyed likely New York voters.  Although a majority (55%) described themselves as “pro-choice”, 66% thought that there was no need to expand access to abortion — and this number grew to 79% when they were told that we already have over 111,000 abortions in our state each year.

    Only 17% approve of unlimited abortion on demand through the ninth month of pregnancy (which is the current law, thanks to the Supreme Court, and which would be confirmed by the Reproductive Health Act.); 80% disapprove of such a policy, 61% strongly.

    A large majority of New Yorkers oppose the following, which would be permissible under the Reproductive Health Act:

  • 92% oppose abortion for selecting the sex of a baby;
  • 89% oppose abortion for reducing triplets or twins to a single child;
  • 75% oppose allowing non-doctors to perform abortions; and
  • 71% oppose forcing Catholic hospitals to allow abortions.
  • Large majorities also support the following reasonable regulations of abortion, all of which would be impermissible under the Reproductive Health Act:

  • 87% support providing information about options and risks to pregnant women before they make an abortion decision;
  • 78% approve of a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion; and
  • 76% approve of parental notification for minors’ abortions.
  • Kathy Gallagher, the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, summed it up best:

    “These poll results should send a strong message to government officials: New Yorkers, even those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice,’ don’t want more abortion in the state.  The public desires prudent and reasonable regulations on the abortion procedure. New Yorkers want abortion to be truly rare. Politicians promoting the radical agenda of groups like Planned Parenthood and Naral are out of step with everyday New Yorkers, be they Republican or Democrat.”

    All Catholics — indeed, all people who believe that enough is enough –  should send a message to their government officials  that they oppose the Reproductive Health Act.

     

    Time for a Real Women’s Agenda

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    I’ve already written a great deal about the Reproductive Health Act (see here, here and here), which has been proposed by the Governor as part of his “Women’s Equality Act”.

    One thing that has unfortunately been lost in the debate over this abortion expansion bill is that many of the other parts of the Governor’s agenda are things that most New Yorkers — including the Church — would like to support.  Things like ensuring equal pay for equal work; expanding the ability to enforce laws against sexual harassment; strengthening laws against discrimination in employment and lending (particularly against pregnant women); strengthening and enforcing current laws against sex trafficking.

    But by including the Reproductive Health Act in in the bill, the passage of other good women’s initiatives is being unnecessarily jeopardized.  We would like to see abortion taken off the table, so that the welfare of women can be addressed and promoted in a way that generates real consensus across the state.

    The Church, and other pro-life people who work at places like pregnancy services centers,  have a great deal of experience working with vulnerable women, especially those who are struggling with a crisis pregnancy.  Based on this experience, we could propose some other items to include in a real women’s agenda.  These proposals would not endanger the lives of unborn women and leave their mothers with the emotional scars of abortion.  Instead, they would enhance the welfare of the women of our state, particularly by giving encouragement and support to make the life-affirming decision to carry their babies to birth:

  • Promoting adoption by mandating parental leave equal to that provided to birth parents, and providing tax deductions or tax credits to those who adopt. A public relations campaign to encourage adoption, particularly of children with special needs and those in foster care, would also be good.
  • Providing funding for alternatives to abortion, particularly for low-income women.  For years, the government-funded Maternity & Early Childhood Foundation has been doing that on a shoestring, and the Governor’s proposed budget would eliminate all funding for this Foundation.
  • Ensuring that women have all the relevant information before making an abortion decision — bills like the “Woman’s Right to Know Act” or a bill requiring a sonogram — and a waiting period to ensure that there’s enough time to reflect.
  • Prohibiting abortion for sex selection.  This practice particularly targets female children, and is the ultimate form of discrimination against women.
  • Strengthening and enforcing New York’s anti-obscenity laws. Women are the primary victims of pornography — they are objectified and demeaned by it, and many of the women in porn are coerced or raped.
  • Helping victims of domestic violence, by giving them unpaid leave of absence from jobs, ending housing discrimination, and strengthen orders of protection.
  • Passing an unborn victims of violence act, which would permit prosecution of domestic violence criminals who target children in the womb.
  • The Governor has some good ideas for woman that shouldn’t be held back by an abortion bill that goes too far and is out of step with what New Yorkers want.  Taking the Reproductive Health Act off the table would allow people of all beliefs to unite behind a real agenda for women.

    The Reproductive Health Act and Criminal Law

    Thursday, February 7th, 2013

    As part of our efforts to educate people about the Reproductive Health Act, we have been pointing out that the bill would remove any criminal penalties for a violent attack on an unborn child.  The bill’s supporters have been countering by saying that there would still be sufficient criminal sanctions available, if RHA is passed.

    Here’s why they’re reading the law wrong.

    Current New York law criminalizes a direct attack on an unborn child outside of the context of a doctor performing an abortion with the mother’s consent.  If the unborn child is over 24 weeks of gestation, this crime would be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison; before that, it’s a felony punishable by up to four years in jail.

    Without these criminal abortion laws, there is no way to bring a prosecution for a direct attack on an unborn child.  The reason is that New York has a “born alive” rule, under which you can only be a victim of a crime — a “person” under the law — if you are born alive.  Before that, you aren’t a “person”.  Yes, it seems absurd, but that’s been the law for many years.

    If you want a more detailed legal explanation for how this plays out, here it is — if you don’t, you can skip the next paragraph.

    The basic problem stems from the nature of the assault and homicide statutes, and the required intent elements that must be proved, when taken together with the “born alive” rule.  The assault and homicide laws are “specific intent” laws — the prosecution must prove that the assailant had “intent to cause serious physical injury to another person”.  Since an unborn child is not a “person” within the meaning of the law, no assault that is intended to harm that child can be the basis of a prosecution.  Nor can the doctrine of “transferred intent” lead to a prosecution.  That principle holds that if a person intends to assault one victim, but harms another, they are liable for injuries to the second victim.  But the assault and homicide statutes specify that the injury must be caused to the intended victim “or to a third person”. Again, since an unborn child is not a “person”, the injury to the child cannot be the basis of a criminal charge under the theory of transferred intent.  Of course, there is always the possibility of bringing charges for any injuries caused to the mother — but those are separate and distinct from the offenses directed against the unborn child, which can only be brought under the criminal abortion statutes.

    The criminal abortion statutes are reasonable and necessary, and have a long history in our law.  By having this provision, New York law shows that it has a legitimate interest in protecting unborn life, which it will defend in criminal court.  This interest has been repeatedly recognized and upheld by the Supreme Court — even in the original Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion.

    These laws are especially important because deliberate attacks on an unborn child are frequently part of a domestic violence incident.  And, not every attack on the unborn child causes some kind of physical harm to the mother.  For example, an involuntary dose of RU-486 or emergency contraception might only cause harm to the unborn child, not to the mother, and thus could not be prosecuted at all if RHA is enacted.  Think of it — a man could slip a woman a dose of EC with the intent to kill their unborn child, yet he could completely escape prosecution.

    The result of all of this is clear — without the criminal abortion statutes (which would be repealed by RHA), an assault on an unborn child cannot be the basis of a criminal charge unless there is an independent injury to the mother.  And even then, the only victim whose rights would be defended would be the mother — the child would be merely a piece of evidence at trial, not a human being who had been victimized.

    The proper way to address this flaw in the current law is not to remove the abortion provisions from the Penal Law, as RHA would.  Instead, the Legislature should enact an Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which would provide criminal penalties for assaults upon unborn children, regardless of the impact on the mother.  Thirty-six states and the federal government have these laws, and they have been upheld in the courts. The RHA may well prevent that law from ever being passed in New York State.

    The broader issue at stake here is the legal theory embodied in RHA — it treats the life and well-being of the unborn child as irrelevant, and asserts that the state is only concerned with maternal health.  This would completely abdicate the state’s legitimate interest in protecting unborn life — which has even been recognized by the Supreme Court.

    The RHA is focused solely on the mother and on ensuring her unlimited access to abortion.  The unborn child would have no legal rights, and no defense from assault, under RHA.

    Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the Governor’s Radical Abortion Plan

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    Now it appears that our pro-abortion Governor will be bundling the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” with a number of other “women’s initiatives”, to create an omnibus bill that offers something to everyone. Of course, most of the bill is mere window-dressing for his plan to remove all limits on abortion, and reinforce New York’s lamentable status as the state with the most expansive abortion laws.

    The New York State Catholic Conference has put out the Top Ten Reasons to oppose this radical bill.  here they are:

    10. It moves New York State in the opposite direction of “safe, legal and rare.”
    9.  It would undermine beneficial maternity and prenatal care programs, which could be deemed “discriminatory” for favoring childbirth over abortion.
    8.  It could be used to compel Catholic Charities and Catholic schools to counsel and refer for abortion.
    7.  It could be used to compel all hospitals, even Catholic hospitals, to allow abortions on premises.
    6.  It makes abortion immune to prudent regulations supported by large majorities of the public: parental notification for minors’ abortions, restrictions on taxpayer funding, informed consent or a waiting period for pregnant women.
    5.   By inserting a broad “health” exception into our law, it opens up third-trimester abortions for any reason at all, leading to more late-term abortions of viable, fully formed infants.
    4.   By repealing the requirement in current law that only a licensed physician may perform an abortion, it endangers women’s lives.
    3.   By tying the abortion expansion plan to helping victims of domestic violence and ending pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, these important objectives are held hostage to an illogical and ideological agenda.
    2.   It will not foster women’s health or dignity or promote women’s equality.
    1.   It defies common sense because New York is already the abortion capital of the nation, with 33% of pregnancies ending in abortion, over 40% in New York City.

    All the state-wide pro-life groups have joined in a new coalition to defeat the bill.  We’ve taken the name “New Yorkers for Life”, and have started up a Facebook page and Twitter account.  We would like to use these as rally points for pro-lifers, to express their opposition to the bill and to get more information.  Please spread the word to everyone you know, encourage people to “Like” the page on Facebook, and share it with their friends and contacts, and to “Follow” it on Twitter.

    The New York State Catholic Conference has put up an alert on the bill.  Please let others know about this, and urge them to contact their legislators and the Governor.

    We already have too many abortions in New York.  Enough is enough.