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.