The Struggle Against Abortion Expansion Continues

Pro-abortion advocates traveled to Albany the other day to push for the passage of the Governor’s abortion expansion proposal, which is embedded in the “Women’s Equality Act”.  This plan first saw light as the “Reproductive Health Act”.  The Senate has already passed nine out of the ten parts of the WEA, which deal with such issues as domestic violence, pay equity, etc.  But the Assembly refuses to pass the valuable and good elements of the WEA, because their leadership insists on including the abortion expansion plan.

In conjunction with the pro-abortion rally in Albany, the Assembly voted once again to pass the entire WEA, with the abortion expansion plan included.  Editorial boards of newspapers around the state have been voicing their support for the WEA.  In response to one such editorial, I submitted the following letter to the editor:

I am writing in response to your editorial calling for the passage of the full 10-point “Women’s Equality Act.”  In your editorial, you note that the bill stalled in the Senate last year due to the provision that related to abortion.  But you mis-characterize that section of the bill, claiming that it would merely “codify existing federal abortion rights as affirmed in Roe v. Wade”.

In fact, the Governor’s proposal is much more radical, and would expand abortion rights beyond current federal and state law.  It would remove any obstacles to late-term abortions, and would allow non-doctors to do surgical abortions, even late-term abortions up until the moment of birth.

The bill also ignores regulations on abortion that have already been codified in federal law and that enjoy wide support among the public — like restrictions on public funding, a partial birth abortion ban, the criminalization of violence against unborn children, and robust conscience protections for medical practitioners who don’t want to participate in abortion.  It likewise ignores reasonable regulations of abortion that enjoy wide public support in our state and across the nation.   Polls consistently show that wide majorities of New Yorkers oppose late-term abortions and permitting non-doctors to do surgical abortions, and they support reasonable regulations like parental notification requirements and full informed consent provisions.

The Senate rejected the abortion provision of the Women’s Equality Act because the people of New York State don’t want an expansion of abortion.  Most New Yorkers realize that 110,000 abortions are already far too many, and that too many men and women have been wounded by abortion.

The Legislature could pass the beneficial and uncontroversial provisions of the Women’s Equality Act at any time — the individual components have been introduced in the Assembly and the Senate has already passed them.  They shouldn’t be held hostage to a radical agenda that seeks to expand abortion.

Abortion activists will never compromise in their efforts to enact this abortion expansion plan.  They will accept no limitations on abortion, and are not even satisfied with the current status quo.   Pro-life people, and those who consider themselves “pro-choice” but are uncomfortable with abortion expansion, need to make their voices heard.  The best way is through the New York State Catholic Conference’s Action Center.

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2 Responses to “The Struggle Against Abortion Expansion Continues”

  1. Peter Rox says:

    1. The Archdiocese of New York has opposed sex education in public schools. Isn’t it logical that at least some pregnancies/abortions may not occur if there were better sex education? The argument has been that it should be done by the parents in the home, but of course, this is not sufficiently happening.

    2. Aren’t some abortions obtained for claims of economic hardship of the mother or both parents? The Church is a tiny whimper on social justice issues for years now, like raising the minimum wage. The hierarchy has very few true voices of prominence for social justice. Instead, it usually has sided with candidates and the party (republicans) who oppose a great many social justice issues, like promoting a LIVING wage, etc. Republicans succeeded in getting cuts to FOOD STAMPS. That party fought against all the president’s jobs program proposals for years now. All of these social justice issues have an impact on abortions being sought.

    3. Maternal health and healthcare for children, families, everyone is important to all of us who do not have the deluxe health care available to our hierarchy. Yet, the hierarchy had no constructive voice in the national health care debate, and instead focused on the easy complaints about contraception and abortion. Again, it sided with republicans by joining them in the fight against healthcare expansion. Healthcare debt is the #1 reason for personal bankruptcy in America. Maternal security about health care for themselves and loved ones could reduce abortion demand.

    4. Contraception – this tired old policy of the hierarchy, mandated by Pope Paul VI against the advice of his own commission on the subject, has lessened respect for the hierarchy’s opinions on abortion, and other subjects. It is probably the #1 issue why most Catholics view the hierarchy as “out of touch”.

    5. US Catholic Conference war on gays – this has done nothing to strengthen marriage of heterosexuals, nor to encourage young people to marry.

    6. The hierarchy has lost influence within the Church on abortion – Regrettably, slightly more Catholic women report having had abortions than in any other faith, despite all the money, time, and focus (obsession) of the hierarchy on this subject. Isn’t it ironic that Catholics are the biggest seekers of abortion? It is very sad.

    7. The sex abuse scandals have lessened the respect for the Church’s teaching on many subjects, including abortion.

    We Catholics need to accept that the church leadership is failing us in many ways. How can this be improved? How can lay people have real voices in Church governance. Has “pray, pay, and obey” gotten us to this point?

  2. Thank you for writing the truth so that all can understand how harmful this is to the women and girls of the state of New York. All of society will suffer.