ALBANY, NY – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday he would form a new third party in the state centered around his late-term abortion expansion program.
The formation of the Women’s Equality Party, which is designed to further the Democrats' national “war on women” campaign theme, was announced at a gala on Thursday.
“Even in New York, the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, we’ve felt the impact of the assault of women’s equality when just this year, the New York State Senate refused to act on the Women’s Equality Agenda,” his running mate, State Rep. Kathy Hochul, said at the event. “The new Women’s Equality Party will bring together the strength and power of our state’s women leaders to promote the Women’s Equality Agenda and influence policy and government, inspired by the spirit of Seneca Falls.”
Gov. Cuomo included a version of the bill in his 10-point Women's Equality Agenda last year, likening late-term abortion to the Bill of Rights. While Republicans agreed with most of its provisions, pro-life legislators said its abortion plank would radically expand late-term abortion by dropping all regulations throughout all nine months of pregnancy, allowing non-physicians to perform abortions, and requiring all hospitals to refer women to abortionists or lose state funding.
Although it passed the state Assembly last June, its abortion component stalled due to opposition from a bipartisan coalition in the state Senate. The Reproductive Health Act (S. 438), which would expand abortion statewide, then died in a Senate committee this May. Democratic legislators reintroduced all 10 planks of the WEA later that month.
Cuomo has angered many people in both major parties by refusing to decouple the abortion provision from other parts of the WEA, such as offering greater protections for victims of human trafficking.
“Governor Cuomo has no business trying to position himself as a women's rights champion. Because of Governor Cuomo's insistence that an abortion-expansion plank be included in his Women's Equality Act, the entire legislation failed to become law,” said Rev. Jason J. McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms.
“If the governor were serious about women's issues, he would have intervened during this year's legislative session to make certain that victims of sex trafficking received proper protections,” he added. “Human trafficking legislation even had the support of the National Organization for Women of New York City and Democratic Members of the Assembly like Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. Instead, Cuomo continues to allow sex-trafficked children to languish at the hands of sexual predators.”
Shaun Marie of the Conservative Party of New York State made a similar criticism in a statement addressed directly to Gov. Cuomo. “You and your partner in the legislature refused to pass nine parts of your bill and now you have the audacity to call your abortion expanding line the Women's Equality line,” she said. “You have made some huge miscalculations in your term so far, but this will prove to be one of the worst political decisions you have made. The majority of women do not support your position that an abortion should be available right up until birth.”
McGuire cited a 2013 poll showing that a majority of New Yorkers oppose a policy of abortion-on-demand for any reason, and hefty majorities disagree with the WEA's abortion plank. “In a state that already possesses some of the most permissive abortion laws in the country, the Governor's continued insistence on beating the drum for late-term abortion expansion is nothing short of bizarre,” he said.
The new party takes advantage of a peculiarity in New York state election law that allows candidates to be nominated by more than one party, with all votes counting toward his or her election. Cuomo is already likely to be nominated by the Democratic, Independence, and Working Families parties. The WFP is a far-Left party led by the community organizing group ACORN.
His pro-life opponent, Rob Astorino, has been nominated by the Republican and Conservative Party of New York State.
Meanwhile, Zephyr Teachout, who is waging a primary challenge to Cuomo for the Democratic and Working Families Party nomination, battered the governor from the Left. “We don’t need a new ‘party’ for women’s equality,” she said. “A real Democrat would have already passed the Women’s Equality Act and would be fighting for paid family leave.”