June 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The New York State Assembly has voted 97 to 47 to pass Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Act, including its abortion expanding language. Pro-life activists have said the bill would make New York the most pro-abortion state in the union.
Next the legislation will go to the state senate, where its fate is far less certain.
The omnibus bill was introduced by Gov. Cuomo as a ten-point piece of legislation that also contains provisions addressing workplace reforms, human trafficking and domestic violence.
However, the Senate will address the ten points in ten separate bills because of strong resistance from Republican – and some Democrat – members to the abortion provision. The abortion language would expand abortions into the third trimester for virtually any reason and open the door to non-medical professionals performing those abortions.
Supporters of the abortion provision in the state’s senate do not seem to have the 32 votes needed to pass the tenth abortion-related bill due for a Friday vote.
Governor Cuomo says he is not happy with the Senate’s 10-way dissection of the bill. He wants the Senate to take on the Assembly’s omnibus bill.
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He commented, “The Assembly had the courage to stand up on behalf of the women of New York, and now the Senate must do the same.”
“Each and every part of the Women's Equality Act is vitally important to the future of women in our state and New Yorkers deserve to know where all their elected representatives stand on all of them.”
New York already has the highest abortion rate of any state in the nation. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion-industry think tank, one-third of all New York pregnancies end in abortion. Currently, abortions can be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy without restriction. After that, they can be performed only by doctors to save the life of the mother.
Numerous faith-based and pro-life observers have criticized the abortion expansion plan, including Cuomo’s own spiritual leaders, the Catholic Bishops of New York.
“I am hard pressed to think of a piece of legislation that is less needed or more harmful than this one,” wrote Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in a letter to Governor Cuomo. “As we have discussed in the past, we obviously disagree on the question of the legality of abortion, but surely we are in equally strong agreement that the abortion rate in New York is tragically high,” he wrote.
“There was a time when abortion supporters claimed they wanted to make abortion ‘safe, legal, and rare,’” Dolan added. “Yet this measure is specifically designed to expand access to abortion, and therefore to increase the abortion rate.”
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.”