Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, issued the following statement today in response to the promotion of a radical abortion bill by Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“Governor Andrew Cuomo’s re-packaging of an extreme abortion bill into a so-called ‘women’s agenda’ is a desperate attempt to push through an abortion expansion that’s been around for six years and has failed to gain traction as a stand-alone bill. Make no mistake, this bill, first championed by Eliot Spitzer, is radical and far out of the mainstream, even by the standards of New York, a state with an abortion rate twice the national average. It will permit more late-term abortions, allow non-doctors to perform abortions, and will preclude any reasonable restrictions on abortion like parental notification. Moreover it would permit the state to pull the operating certificate of Catholic hospitals and agencies that ‘discriminate’ by not performing or referring women for abortions.
“The extreme nature of the bill has seriously limited its support in the Legislature. So now the governor is attempting to tie it to important initiatives such as helping victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and ending pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. He believes the ‘all-in’ strategy will make it harder to oppose. The public and lawmakers should not be fooled. We must not let victims of abuse and discrimination be held hostage to Governor Cuomo’s ideologically driven political agenda, an agenda that is extremely harmful to mothers, infants and religious liberty.
“An abortion expansion in New York State will not foster women’s health or women’s dignity. New Yorkers want their leaders to take action to decrease the state’s abortion rate and reduce the tragedy for women and families. We would like to work with them to do just that.”
The Catholic Conference represents Timothy Cardinal Dolan and New York State’s bishops in matters of public policy.