Kirsten Andersen

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Buffalo bishop rallies diocese’s 650,000 Catholics to oppose Cuomo abortion bill in video message

Kirsten Andersen
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BUFFALO, June 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In the face of sweeping legislation to increase abortion access championed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Catholic Bishop Richard Malone reached out to his diocese’s 650,000 Catholic parishioners in a video message, asking them to protect vulnerable lives by opposing the controversial bill.

Cuomo’s “Women’s Equality Act” abortion bill would enshrine the absolute right to abortion in state law. It would remove abortion from the New York’s penal code and affirm abortion at any point during pregnancy if the mother's “health” is in danger – a category so broad it could allow virtually any abortion at any time.

In a video played at Masses on Sunday throughout the Buffalo diocese, Bishop Malone informed parishioners that one out of every three pregnancies in New York already ends in abortion.  “It’s clear that we as a state have lost sight of these most vulnerable babies,” Malone said.   He said Cuomo’s bill “runs the risk of dramatically expanding access to abortion at all stages of pregnancy.”

He echoed concerns previously stated by the New York Catholic bishops that the bill would allow people who are not medical professionals to perform abortions.  He also decried the removal of abortion language from the state’s penal code, arguing that it could hamper prosecution of those who intentionally cause fatal injury to even wanted babies, as in some domestic violence cases.

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Like the other bishops in his state, he also said he was worried that the bill’s vague approach to conscience protections could leave Catholic hospitals and other organizations in the position of having to refer for or even carry out abortions in order to maintain state licensing.

Earlier this month, New York State Right to Life slammed the bill as “a Trojan Horse - a beautifully gift-wrapped package of death and destruction.”

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life (AUL) said that if the bill passes, "New York will be sanctioning unrestricted, virtually unregulated, and taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, making it the most radically pro-abortion state in the nation.”

Cuomo, who is Catholic, defended the measure in a guest blog on The Huffington Post last week, stating that his proposal changes nothing but merely “codifies in state law the reproductive rights afforded by Roe.”

“I see it almost as a bill of rights,” Governor Cuomo said. “We don’t believe you have to give up any of the 10.”

The governor’s steadfast support for the ‘right’ to legal abortion, has placed him in opposition to his own Catholic Church.

“The position of the Catholic Church, through every age, is clear,” Bishop Malone said.  “Life is sacred.”

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