The Bottomless Pit of Albany

Just when you thought that the New York State Legislature had hit a new low, there’s always a lower spot they can find.

The last two weeks have shown us probably the worst face of politics, with control of the State Senate being all but auctioned off to the highest bidder. Our august Solons have turned the lights off on each other, hid the key to the chamber, engaged in pushing matches with activists. In other words, it’s been kindergarten on a bad day.

Now, they’ve found a new low point. But this time there are lives at stake.

A disturbing article appeared today in the Albany Times Union. It was written one of the high priestesses of the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean the head of NARAL-NY, the pro-abortion lobbying group. It alleged that the Senate had been scheduled to vote on the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” last Wednesday, June 10 — even though the bill had only been introduced two days before, it didn’t appear on the calendar of the Senate or any committee, and there were no hearings or advance warning at all. In other words, it was going to be “legislation by ambush”, on one of the most dangerous bills to come before the Legislature in decades.

Nice. A momentous piece of legislation, handled with all the seriousness usually associated with renaming a street, or declaring a state rock.

Make no mistake about what this bill is all about. It is the abortion industry’s dream bill, giving them everything they ever wanted — the ability to destroy unborn children with impunity, with the means to force all of society to cooperate and approve of their acts. This bill would:

  • Repeal the requirement in current law that states only “duly licensed physicians” may perform abortions, and permit any “health care practitioner” to perform the procedure prior to viability.
  • Remove any possibility of prosecution or state disciplinary action against doctors or others who perform unauthorized or dangerous abortions.
  • Make abortion virtually immune from any state regulation that you and your legislative colleagues feel is necessary. Although common-sense regulations such as parental notification for minors’ abortions have been upheld by courts, and are supported by most New Yorkers, they would be impermissible under this bill.

While the bill contains some limited conscience protection, the language is completely inadequate. It may apply only to individuals who do not wish to provide abortions, and thus may offer no protection to institutions. As a result, the bill could:

  • Force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, contrary to their beliefs;
  • Force insurance plans, including those of Catholic employers, to cover abortion;
  • Force Catholic charitable agencies to counsel and refer for abortion; and
  • Force all schools, including Catholic schools, to educate children about abortion.

New York is already the abortion capital of America. The abortion rate here is the highest of any state in our nation. Already, 31% of all pregnancies in New York State — 40% in New York City — end in an abortion (according to New York State Department of Health statistics). This is not something to be proud of and expand, but to mourn.

This “Reproductive Health Act” is an an extreme bill that is out of touch with the attitudes of most New Yorkers, who favor common-sense limitations on abortion. It confronts Catholics and all those of good will with a challenge — will we stand by and do nothing to stop this infamy, or will we take a stand?

Those who wish to do something should go to the webpage of the New York State Catholic Conferences’ Catholic Advocacy Network and send a message to their elected officials immediately. Those who are willing to stand by and do nothing should go back and re-read Mathew 25:31-46 and pray about which line they’ll be in — sheep or goats?

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