The Radical Abortion Expansion Proposal
On June 21, 2013, the New York State Senate defeated an effort to enact Governor Cuomo's radical abortion expansion proposal, which was part of a large multi-purpose bill called the "Women's Equality Act". Sadly, the New York State Assembly had previously voted in favor of the bill.
We applaud those legislators who voted to defend human life. We urge people to contact their legislators to thank those who defended life, and make your opinion known to those who voted to expand abortion. Please visit the
Catholic Action Network
to send these important messages. For an overview on the reasons that this bill was defeated, see
This bill continues to be advanced by the Governor and by abortion rights advocates. This is a radical proposal that would expand abortion in New York. It would:
- Ensure that abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason;
- Permit non-doctors to perform abortions;
- Prevent the passage of reasonable regulations on abortion (e.g., parental notification laws, bans on sex-selection abortions);
- Permit abortion of any child who is not "viable," a term left undefined in the bill, leaving it entirely in the discretion of an abortionist to determine that key factor; and
- Endanger conscience protections under current law, which could force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, and could even force Catholic schools and charitable agencies to promote or refer for abortions and contraception.
Here is a statement from the
New York State bishops
on this bill, and an
from the New York State Catholic Conference. Here is also a detailed
with information about the abortion expansion provisions of the "Women's Equality Act". Here are
numerous blog posts
that will give you more information about the abortion expansion bill.
Take Action and Stop the Abortion Expansion Bill
A broad-based coalition has been formed to fight against abortion expansion -- New Yorkers for Life. Please "Like" their Facebook page, and "Follow" them on Twitter.
Here are some steps that you can take to stop this expansion of abortion in New York:
- Get Informed. See the resources listed above. It's important that we focus attention on accurate information about the abortion expansion elements of the Women's Equality Act. A previous proposal, the "Reproductive Health Act", is a much more detailed and even more radical proposal, but it is not the bill that is being actively considered by the Legislature right now.
- Write your legislators. We strongly urge you to contact your legislators about the bill. You can use the Catholic Conference's Action Network for this: go to the Catholic Conference webpage and click on "Take Action".
- Visit your legislators. Visits to the legislators' local district office are very important. It would be particularly helpful to have priests, medical personnel and women make these visits.
- Organize local rallies. We believe that local rallies in key districts would be very helpful.
- Write letters to the editor. Letters to local newspapers can be very effective in shaping opinion and influencing legislators.
- Use local media. Call in to your local radio talk and news shows to express your opinion on the bill.
- Use social media. In addition to the New Yorkers for Life Facebook and Twitter, you should spread the word about this through your own social media contacts.
Important Poll Results
A poll of New Yorkers last Spring showed that the great majority of New Yorkers are opposed to an expansion of abortion, and to the provisions of the RHA. For more details, see here.
Some of the most significant findings:
- 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 abortion expansion proposal);
- 80% disapprove of such a policy, 61% strongly.
A large majority of New Yorkers oppose the following, which would be permissible under the abortion expansion proposal:
- 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 abortion expansion proposal:
- 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.
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