ALBANY, New York, November 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Several pro-life organizations announced Monday that they are filing a lawsuit against New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing a new law they say will force them to employ workers who oppose their religious values and pro-life mission.
Senate Bill S660 forbids employers from engaging in “discrimination” or “retaliatory personnel action” against employees on the basis of their “reproductive health decision making,” or from requiring them to sign any “document which purports to deny an employee the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions.” It contains no religious exemption.
In response, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), First Bible Baptist Church in Hilton, and the pro-life pregnancy care service CompassCare in a lawsuit against the new law, Catholic News Agency reported.
“SB 660 intentionally and by design sacrifices the associational, speech, and religious freedom of employers in New York State —including religious non-profits, churches, and schools — to the government’s desire to promote abortion rights by gutting the ability of pro-life employers to hire to their pro-life missions,” ADF’s legal brief argues.
“To fulfill their missions, Plaintiffs hire employees who agree with, personally adhere to, and effectively convey organizational beliefs regarding reproductive health decisions, including but not limited to decisions related to abortion, contraceptive use, and sexual morality,” it continues.
“Gov. Cuomo’s message to pro-life New Yorkers is loud and clear: The abortion agenda of Planned Parenthood trumps the lives of the unborn, and anyone who disagrees will be forced to bow to the state’s orthodoxy by force of law,” declared ADF senior counsel Ken Connelly.
“This law is a trifecta of constitutional violations, hindering freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association,” CompassCare added in a statement of its own. “To be clear, obeying this law would force CompassCare to violate its mission and beliefs. CompassCare cannot in good conscience obey this law. We sue not because we want to but because it is needed to ensure pro-life Christians can continue expressing their convictions publicly and peaceably.”
Cuomo’s uncompromising pro-abortion record stands in stark contrast to his self-identification as a Catholic, which critics say further underscores the tragedy of this and previous pro-abortion laws. In January, Cuomo infamously signed a law codifying a “right” to third-trimester abortions, erasing the state’s recognition of preborn babies as potential homicide victims, removing abortion from the penal code entirely, and allowing non-doctors to commit abortions.
CNA noted that Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger has warned that support for such laws by Cuomo and other “Catholic” politicians “threatens to rupture” their “communion” with the Church.