“There is a simplicity and a clarity to the ‘choice’ language,” Andrew Cuomo wants you to know. “You’re pro-choice or you’re not pro-choice.”
That’s his argument for abortion expansion in New York State. There are less than three weeks left in the state’s legislative session, and he is adamant that the legislature pledge their allegiance to abortion in the state.
All the political world seems atwitter about Chris Christie’s appointment of a senator to replace the late Frank Lautenberg, as next door, Andrew Cuomo makes a blatant Democratic primary play, making the state less hospitable to life and less safe for women – and not just the ones who don’t get to live. He does this just weeks after the Kermit Gosnell trial, which should have rocked consciences to the reality of abortion in America—and in a particular way the horror of late-term abortion in America. But in New York, Andrew Cuomo wants legislators to look away and double-down on death.
(And as Bill Donahue of the Catholic League points out, it might not even be smart general-election politics in a country that isn’t as keen on less regulation of abortion as the abortion industry would like.)
As we editorialized earlier this year:
New York does not want for access to abortion. Two in five pregnancies end in abortion in New York City; the rate for black women is 60 percent. The statewide figures are lower, but they are high enough. There are about 250 abortion clinics in the state, and 93 percent of the state’s women live in a county that is home to an abortion facility, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Nationally, abortion kills the equivalent of the combined populations of Atlanta and Cleveland every year. All that with no help from Governor Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo’s bill is not about easing access to abortion — those bloody skids already are well-greased. The issue is political domination. The abortion party does not brook resistance, and it steadfastly seeks to ensure that everybody has a hand in its grisly business: taxpayers, employers, priests. All must be implicated. If a religious hospital declines to provide abortions, then it must be forced to do so. If a counseling center treats adoption as preferable to abortion, it will either change its mind or have its mind changed for it by the gentle persuasion of the State of New York.
The governor’s push is irresponsible and harmful. It’s a miserable posture at a time when someone with the best interests of women and children in mind could build a coalition that would make sure women actually feel like they have the support to choose to let their babies live. An informed-consent bill like the one Louisiana passed in recent years would help. And it would actually assure that women know they can choose, say, adoption, and how.
“We are profoundly distressed by the introduction of a bill in New York State today that would ease restrictions in state law on late-term abortion and runs the serious risk of broadly expanding abortion access at all stages of gestation,” the Catholic bishops of New York said in a statement this afternoon decrying the final release of the bill’s language.
This legislation would add a broad and undefined “health” exception for late-term abortion and would repeal the portion of the penal law that governs abortion policy, opening the door for non-doctors to perform abortions and potentially decriminalizing even forced or coerced abortions. In addition, we find the conscience protection in the bill to be vague and insufficient, and we are concerned about the religious liberty of our health facilities. While the bill’s proponents say it will simply “codify” federal law, it is selective in its codification. Nowhere does it address the portions of federal laws that limit abortion, such as the ban on taxpayer funding, the ban on partial birth abortion or protections for unborn victims of violence.
Instead of expanding abortion and making abortions even more prevalent, we would like to protect both the woman and the child in the womb. In New York, where one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion (and upwards of 6 in 10 in certain communities), it is clear that we as a state have lost sight of that child’s dignity. We pledge all our efforts to defeat this proposal. We call on all pro-life New Yorkers to stand together with us and with all the leadership in Albany who share our conviction that we have no need for such a bill to become law. We need instead to enhance and promote the life and dignity of all human beings from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.
The Catholic bishops are joined in their vocal opposition to the bill by a coalition that includes Democrats for Life. A well-funded campaign is working to pressure legislators into going along with the governor, insisting the state needs to affirm an enthusiasm for abortion that it doesn’t have. Polling on the matter suggests that when people have any idea how abortion appears to be a preference in New York City in an especially stark way, they’re outraged. Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t get away with exploiting this issue for what looks a lot like political ambition.
This is sickening. New York desperately needs better than this.